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A great profit was made by the merchant ships that returned to the Italian port cities of Venice, Pisa, and Genoa filled with the greatly sought-after goods from Asia. In addition to Venice, Genoa developed into a major port city for ships that carried the new goods to the rest of Europe. According to the accounts published years later by Marco Polo, son of Niccolo, arriving in China in 1265 A.D.
They also brought back from the Khan a request to the pope for 100 Christian missionaries to teach the Chinese the Christian faith. In their travels along the Silk Road, the Polos saw many strange animals, heard numerous strange languages, tasted exotic foods, and experienced other sights in a long and difficult three-year trip eastward. Whether or not Marco embellished his stories with exaggeration, he recorded that the Khan took a strong liking to the young Venetian and sent him on many official tours of his vast kingdom as his representative on commercial and political business.
They left China in an entourage of 14 ships and 600 people, most to serve the princess and to impress her new husband. While in prison Marco dictated to another prisoner an account of his travels and experiences in the advanced civilization of the Yuan Dynasty.
The account, published under the title, Il Milione, was widely read in Europe and stimulated an even greater interest in the wonders of the Far East. An extensive world of trade had existed in the Indian Ocean for centuries, to the virtual exclusion of Europe. Although trade and travel between China and Europe existed even during the Roman Empire, the rise in power of the Ottoman and Persian empires from the 12th century on made travel and trade increasingly difficult for the Europeans. The Persians, as was the case also with the Ottomans, extracted heavy taxes from merchants traveling through their territories. The Ottoman interference in the Mediterranean threatened the commercial survival of Venice, Genoa, and Milan. Of great concern was the increasing blockage of the important slave trade that existed between the Mongols in the Balkans and Eastern Europe who were shipping European slaves to Africa and the Middle East. A new religious fervor spread throughout Europe in reaction to the rapid expansion of Islam into North Africa and the Christian Balkans.
A whole generation of young, highly trained soldiers in Spain, after the defeat of the Moors was completed in 1492, were looking for new campaigns. New technology in ship building created faster, sleeker ships (the caravel), the sternpost rudder which made steering ships much more accurate and easy, arming of ships with the new canon, the magnetic compass, the astrolabe (which enabled captains to plot their travel using latitudinal and longitudinal readings), and more accurate charting methods drove the desire of Europeans to new areas of exploration. The bankruptcy of Spain caused by the long campaign to drive the Moors from Spain, made exploration to find new routes to the Spice Islands and new deposits of gold and silver necessary. The loss of financial revenue in Portugal, the leading merchant fleet linking the Spice Islands to Europe, due to the new Ottoman dominance in the Indian Ocean forced new alternatives to be obtained. And when these factors resulted in two actual, successful trips to be achieved in 1429 A.D.
They traded porcelain, lacquerware, silk, and cotton in exchange for gold, silver, and ivory.
Had the Chinese emperors in the 15th century continued in their quest to develop world trade, the history of the world would be radically different. However, increasing pressure from the Mongols to the north diverted the attention of the emperors away from trade expansion to defense of the dynasty, and Chinese naval explorations inexplicably ceased. The Ottoman Empire relied upon Greek sailors and captains from Ottoman-controlled Greece to conduct most of their sea trade during the 15th and 16th centuries. They found something other than shipping to be much more profitable -- the capture of ships, crews, captains and cargo.
Their piracy continued on into the 18th century when the Barbary pirates were finally defeated by the fledgling navy of the United States under President Thomas Jefferson.
From the 15th century onward ships sailed from Europe in search of not only new routes to Asia, but also to find the cities of gold that were featured in the fables of European sailors. The Dutch sailed successfully around the tip of Africa into Asian waters and there they competed with the Portuguese and English for control of the spice trade. The Dutch also made a brief attempt to colonize North America where they founded New Amsterdam (now New York), but were soon driven out by the English. The Portuguese were the first to find a route around the tip of Africa to India and then to Asia. To settle the conflict between the two Catholic countries, Pope Alexander VI in May 1493 drew an imaginary line down the middle of the Atlantic Ocean 480 km (298.25 miles) west of the Cape Verde Islands.
At the time of Alexandera€™s initial intervention, little land in the Americas had been discovered or explored. The major sponsor and encourager of the Portuguese explorations was Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460), son of the Portuguese king.
With Henrya€™s funding and encouragement over 50 expeditions were sent out, including Vasco da Gama, who in 1498 became the first European to sail around the tip of Africa to India.
Several enduring Portuguese colonies were established in Brazil (where the national language is still Portuguese), the Spice Islands (Portuguese East Timor), Macao (a neighbor of Hong Kong), the Portuguese Azores, and the African colonies of Portuguese Angola and Mozambique. England under Queen Elizabeth I developed an expansive trade and exploration campaign, supported by the worlda€™s largest and most powerful navy. One of Elizabetha€™s favorites at the royal court was Sir Walter Raleigh, a daring sea captain who consistently thwarted and badgered the Spanish by seizing Spanish galleons filled with gold and silver on their way to Spain from the colonies in Peru and Bolivia. One hundred years earlier John Cabot, a Venetian seaman and explorer, sailed under the sponsorship of King Henry VII, Elizabetha€™s grandfather.
His son, Sebastian Cabot, was later commissioned to find a Northwest Passage through present-day Canada to the Orient. Sir Francis Drake (1545-1596) was selected by Queen Elizabeth to lead a sailing expedition around the world. John Cook was a late 18th century English explorer and navigator who sailed three times to the Orient, was the first European to touch Australiaa€™s eastern shore, discovered many Pacific islands, and was the first to sail around present-day New Zealand. During his travels, Cook created the first accurate maps of the Pacific Ocean and the first accurate maps of the coastlands of Europe. Under Queen Elizabeth I and James I, the first English colonies in the New World were established.
Queen Elizabeth I also founded the East India Company in 1600 for the purpose of developing trade with the Dutch East Indies. The Italian, da Verrazano, sailing under the French flag was the first European to locate the bay of New York, reaching it in 1524.
In 1603 Samuel de Champlain explored the Saint Lawrence River, traveled south into New England, and in 1609 established the colony of Quebec in the newly formed New France. By the early 17th century French fur trappers and missionaries traveled as far west as Wyoming, established bases throughout the Great Lakes region, including present-day Chicago and Michigan, and conducted fur-trade along the Mississippi River as far south as present-day New Orleans, establishing there an important trade base and French colony.
About a century later, France was defeated by Britain in the Seven Yearsa€™ War (1754-1763), known to Americans as the French and Indian War.
The last chapter of the Reconquista was written in 1492 when the last of the Moors were driven from Grenada in southern Spain.
The article below, a€?Why Did Columbus Sail?,a€? further points out the major events of 1492 in Spain. In 1492, six years before Vasco da Gama of Portugal made his historic trip around the tip of Africa to India, opening up a new sea route to Asia, a sea captain from Genoa, Italy, Christopher Columbus, was commissioned by the king and queen of Spain to explore a new route westward to the Spice Islands. From childhood he was fascinated by the sea and dreamed of becoming a sailor--maybe even one day becoming the captain of his own ship! When he was about twenty years of age, his dream of going to sea was finally realized and saw many different peoples and lands on his voyages around the Mediterranean.
After escaping a pirate attack at sea, Columbus settled in the Portuguese city of Lisbon, Europe`s most important center of world navigation. After his marriage to a Portuguese woman, and fathering several children, Columbus became convinced he could reach Asia by sailing westward from Europe across the Atlantic Ocean. A fervent Christian, Columbus also had a burning passion to evangelize peoples along his route to Asia.
Columbus took his plan to Henry VII of England, Francis I of Spain, to the king of Portugal, and was turned down by all three monarchs. Three swift ships were purchased and stocked with supplies for the voyage -- the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. For the rest of his life Columbus believed that he had landed on perimeter islands of either India or a€?Cathaya€? (the 15th century name for China). Columbus on this first trip to the New World visited numerous nearby islands, including Cuba, which he made his main base of operations and center of the new colony established. Why does history say that Columbus a€?discovereda€? the New World, when other peoples had already inhabited North and South America for thousands of years before his a€?discoverya€??
The a€?Ba€? people, however, came to South America probably from Japan and the South Pacific islands via boats. And to complicate the matter further, a fifth haplogroup, labeled a€?X,a€? has been identified, and a€?Xa€? is not found anywhere in Asia! Recent finds in Oregon (2012) also have located a distinct, heretofore unknown, people who migrated into North America along land bridges that connected Siberia to North America during the Ice Age. Other finds also point to early arrivals in Latin America that pre-date the arrival of migratory peoples from Asia. A skull was found in 1999 in South-Central Brazil by archeologists and numerous skeletons in a nearby burial site that seem to indicated that these were people with Negroid features.
Therefore, the settling of North and South America probably was done in numerous waves of migration into the two continents and from different places in Asia and perhaps the South Pacific and even Europe. If you are interested in DNA studies and current thinking about how and when the ancestors of the Native Americans came to the Americas, see the following articles and videos. If Columbus was a€?the first Europeana€? to have a€?discovereda€? the Americas, why are they called the a€?Americasa€? and not the a€?Columbiasa€?? Between 1497 and 1507 an Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci, made six trips to South America.
Although his actually landings were few and brief, he later recounted his journeys to a friend, Lorenzo de Medici, who was so fascinated by the stories that he personally published what became very popular and widely-read accounts.
The anti-Columbus authors point to the introduction of European diseases into the Americas that decimated whole populations of original inhabitants, that Columbus seized slaves, not only to work for the Spanish but were sent back to Spain for exhibit much as one would an animal, and that he ruled over the new colony as a despot. Political correctness tends to see any claims by any particular religion to be a€?the only waya€? to be absolutist and arrogant. Furthermore, the argument goes, Columbus opened the door to centuries of ill-treatment of the Meso-Americans, as they were to be referred to rather than the supposedly demeaning term a€?Indian.a€? The ill-treatment continued not only through the later Spanish conquistadors, but also through the American settlement of the West and the disruption of the native American cultures. And so, his detractors maintain, Columbus stands for everything that went wrong as a result of the invasion by Europeans into the Americas.
There were no existing university courses or books available on a€?how to best contact a foreign culturea€? or a€?how to best evangelize another people.a€? Columbus and the Spanish put into practice what was common to all European nations at the time.
European diseases carried by explorers into the New World was hardly a planned attack on the native population, since there was no knowledge in that day about germs or how contagions developed. The Spanish and Columbus viewed themselves as possessors of a superior Christian culture who had an obligation to treat the native inhabitants more as children to be protected and instructed than as slaves. Columbus showed a great compassion for the peoples he encountered and saw his trips as designed by God for their evangelism. Columbus did sign an agreement with the monarchs of Spain which guaranteed him 10% of the profits from not only his own trips but for all those that followed.
The entry of Columbus into the New World opened two continents to European and Asian cultures, civilizations, technologies, medicine, trade, and eventually united an entire southern American continent with one language.
The next morning, Friday, August 3, 1492, at dawn, the Santa MarA­a and its companion caravels caught the ebb tide and drifted toward the gulf.
In that Ocean of Darkness, some feared, the water boiled and sea monsters gulped down sailors so foolish as to sail there. Commander Cristoforo Colombo (as he was known in his hometown of Genoa, Italy) was taller than most men; so tall, in fact, he couldna€™t stand inside his cabin on the Santa MarA­a.
The textbook answer, as any schoolchild could recite, is that Columbus wanted to find a trade route to the Orient. Columbus was visibly and verbally a€?an exceptionally pious man,a€? writes historian Delno C.
His son Ferdinand wrote, a€?He was so strict in matters of religion that for fasting and saying prayers he might have been taken for a member of a religious order.a€? He knew his Vulgate Bible thoroughly, and he probably took it (or a collection of Scriptures) on his voyages. A main source for information about Columbus is his contemporary Bishop Bartolome de Las Casas.
But only in the last 40 yearsa€”and particularly in the last 10 have scholars examined Columbusa€™s religious motivations.
But why explain away his intense religious devotion, when it was obvious to those who knew him and persistent throughout his writings?
On September 23, the ship hit a calm, causing the seamen to complain theya€™d never be able to get back to Spain.
At daylight, the wide-eyed Europeans saw people a€?as naked as their mother bore thema€? and many ponds, fruits, and green trees.
Las Casas agreed that a€?Columbus showed the way to the discovery of immense territoriesa€? and many peoples a€?are now ready and prepared to be brought to the knowledge of their Creator and the faith.a€? As a sign of that work, on every island he explored, Columbus erected a large wooden cross.
After ten weeks of exploring the coastline of Cuba and Hispaniola, continually trading trinkets for gold, Columbus and his men hit a problem. But what most would have viewed as a calamity, Columbus did not: a€?It was a great blessing and the express purpose of Goda€? that his ship ran aground so he would leave some of his men. Although the words are recorded only indirectly, God spoke to Columbus and assured him that God would take him to safety. The next day Columbusa€™s men spotted an island in the Azores; less than three weeks later they landed triumphantly on the Iberian peninsula. When Columbus anchored the NiA±a in Palos, seven months after hea€™d left, shops closed and church bells rang.
According to Las Casas, a€?The King and Queen heard [Columbusa€™s report] with profound attention and, raising their hands in prayer, sank to their knees in deep gratitude to God. Columbus thought that Ferdinand and Isabella were Goda€™s chosen instruments to recapture Jerusalem and place the Holy City under Christian control. As soon as Columbus had returned to Spain, he told Ferdinand and Isabella he would provide 50,000 soldiers and 4,000 horses for them to free Christa€™s Holy Tomb in Jerusalem.
But much to Columbusa€™s disappointment, the longed-for crusade to recapture the Holy City was never undertaken. In 1499, he said, a€?When all had abandoned me, I was assailed by the Indians and the wicked Christians the Spanish settlers who were rebelling against his inept administration].
In 1518 Carlos of Spain, who was to become Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire, signed an agreement to sponsor a journey by Magellan to seek a route around the world, but primarily a route to the Spice Islands in the East Indies from the Pacific side, so as to avoid the confrontations with Islamic pirates in the Mediterranean.
His journey around the tip of South America and across the uncharted Pacific Ocean included many dangerous and threatening situations and his crew threatened mutiny on numerous occasions.
Several weeks later Magellana€™s crew continued their trip west, eventually visited the Spice Islands, and then continued their journey westward to Europe. Ponce de Leon in 1513 explored the east coast of Florida for Spain in search for gold and what was rumored to be the fountain of youth.
Vasco de Balboa in 1513 sailed along the northern coast of South America, and landed in present-day Central America. Hernan Cortes in 1519 landed on the coast of present-day Mexico with a small band of 600 men. The introduction of European diseases whcih wiped out a vast majority of the native people, the introduction of guns, and mounted soldiers on horseback with their war dogs, resulted in a speedy and complete conquest of the Aztec Empire and surrounding tribes. Francisco Pizarro in 1531 set out from Central America with only 200 soldiers to locate the rumored Inca Empire. The gold and silver from Peru and Bolivia filled the Spanish treasuries with immense wealth and created the numerous routes between South America and Spain.
De Soto landed at present-day Bradenton, Florida, just south of Tampa, and began his journey northward. De Soto traveled up the present-day Route US 10 to Tallahassee, Florida where he made camp for about a year. The survivors eventually decided to attempt to reach Mexico City, first by foot, and then, returning to the shores of the Mississippi, to build rafts to sail down the river, into the Gulf , and on to Mexico City. He then continued to the west until he reached the Mississippi River, the first European to reach that river. Viceroys: Spanish elite who were appointed by the monarchy to run the five separate regions of New Spain.
Creoles: people born in the colonies to Spanish parents, and considered inferior or a€?hicksa€? by the colonists who came to the colonies from Spain. Native Americans: these people had little freedom or were forced into labor on plantations and in mines. Their appeals for change were heard by many, but the change that was instituted was not a response of Christian compassion and love for those they sought to convert, but was rather the decision to ease their work load by bringing into the colonies a larger work force. The clergy fired back with accusations against the viceroys and peninsulares--that they could not care less about the souls of the native Americans and threw them aside when ill or dead as one would trash. Native Americans and African slaves both occupied the very bottom of the social chain in Spaina€™s Ecomienda. De Sotoa€™s expedition contributed to the founding of what became known as the Columbian Exchange, the exchange of people, animals, foods, plants, and technology between Europe and the New Spain (the Americas).
From Europe and Africa pigs, horses, goats, sugar cane, paper, guns, and technology crossed the Atlantic to the America.
The introduction of corn and potatoes into Europe produced a fairly rapid growth in population, which had declined because of the a€?Little Ice Agea€? that began around 1350 A.D. Sugar beets and sugar cane that came to the America from India with Columbus, soon became a huge industry in the Americas, especially in the Caribbean. Beyond a new commercial exchange between Europe and Africa and the Americas, the gold and silver flowing to Spain opened up new and expanded doors for trade across the Pacific with the Ming Dynasty in China (whose economic system was based on gold and silver) and with the Spice Islands of the Philippines and Indonesia.
In Africa the Portuguese had established economic ties with strong African kings who provided the Portuguese with large numbers of conquered slaves. As has been the case throughout human history, in general, the treatment of the native and African workers was brutal, harsh, and inhumane. And Islam was presented with a major problem in Africa in a dispute between the Muslim missionaries and Muslim slave traders. Therefore, Islamic trade traders justified their behavior in Africa by declaring the tribal groups living south of an arbitrary line drawn across the African continent as sub-humans, pagans eligible for death or slavery! For this reason, today the continent of Africa is composed of a solidly Islamic north and a majority Christian south where the conversion rate to Christianity is progressing faster than the birth rate. The system of joint stock companies emerged, in which merchants and investors pooled their resources, sold stock in the new companies, reduced the risk to individual investors, and made available vast amounts of working capital for investments in mining and agriculture, as well as the many ships required to transport goods. A new population of middle class merchants arose, acting as middle men in the new system of trade.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony, and the colonies planted at Plymouth and Jamestown were all made possible by joint stock companies, who expected a return on their investments through new trade for goods and natural resources with the native peoples and the colonists in those areas. By 1510 50% of all silver from the mines in Bolivia were being shipped to India to purchase tea and cotton and to China for silk and porcelain.
Contacts between Europe and Asia--especially China, the Spice Islands, and India--greatly increased in the late 13th century, producing important merchant cities in Venice, Milan, Genoa, Lisbon, and Madrid. Formerly most trade routes were overland, but beginning with the 13th century naval shipping became the major means of trade. The Persians, Ottomans, and North African Muslims, through harassment, heavy import and export taxes, and seizing of cargo forced Europeans to find new routes to Asia. Between 1450-1650 several countries became leaders in naval shipping: China, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, England, and France, and others, like India and Italy, served as middle men in the expanded trade. New technologies in the construction of ships and navigation instruments made long sea journeys possible. The Treaty of Tordesilla in 1491 was negotiated by Pope Alexander VI between Portugal and Spain in an attempt to settle their growing dispute over creating trade routes to the Spice Islands. Prince Henry the Navigator encouraged and funding trade between Portugal and others countries and continents, leading to new routes to India and the Spice Islands, as well as opening the door to trafficking in slaves from Africa. Queen Elizabeth and James I were English monarchs who sponsored a great growth in naval power, shipping, and establishing colonies in the New World.
Christopher Columbus in 1492 was the first European to set foot in the New World since early attempts by the Norsemen in the 9th and 10th centuries. Columbus was commissioned by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492 to find a new sea route westward to the Spice Islands.
Columbus was a Christian who desired to reach unknown people groups with the Gospel of Christ. The Americas were named for Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian explorer who sailed six times to the east coast of South America and made fairly accurate maps of the coastline. Ferdinand Magella sailed for Portugal in 1519, successfully made his way around the tip of Africa, across the Pacific, and although he, himself, died in the Philippines, his crew continued the trip westward to Portugal, arriving in 1521, the first known humans to circle the earth by ship. Other Spanish explorers claimed vast areas of North and South America for Spain and established the Columbian Exchange between Europe, Africa, and New Spain. Large gold and silver deposits in New Spain created great wealth in Spain, but ultimately led to its economic decline. The rapid expansion of shipping, plantation building, and trade produced a new system of joint stock companies to fund the new ventures. Explain the reasons for and the success of the Ottoman Empire in restricting European trade with Asia.
Describe the cultural and military collision between the Spanish and the Aztec and the Inca empires and analyze why these empires collapsed. Explain the founding and organization of Spanish and Portuguese colonial empires in the Americas and assess the role of the Catholic Church in the colonial administration and policies regarding indigenous populations. Assess ways in which the exchange of plants and animals around the world in the late 15th and the 16th centuries affected European, Asian, African, and American Indian societies and commerce. Analyze why the introduction of new diseases in the Americas after 1492 had such devastating demographic and social effects on American Indian populations, not only in South America but also in Florida and the Caribbean. Assess the effects that knowledge of the peoples, cultures, geography, and natural environment of the Americas had on European religious and intellectual life. How did the Crusades and the Renaissance open up Europe for an awakened interest in other lands?
What light, fast vessel was popular with the early explorers of the late fifteenth century?
What were maps and other navigational aids like during this period, and how did sailors find their way? What is not found in the textbook: the motivation of Ferdinand and Isabella to fund the voyage by Columbus during the two years prior to 1492 Ferdinand and Isabella has used all their resources to drive the remaining Islamic forces and citizens from Spain. According to the author of the textbook, why had Europeans not discovered the New World sooner? By the time Magellan was ready to begin his journey in 1519, what had everyone realized about Columbusa€™ earlier trip?
Tell the story of what happened when Magellan with his remaining crew finally reached the Philippine Islands. Tell the story of the miraculous healing of the chief of the island on which Magellan landed.
The Greek peninsula was originally settled by the Minoan people who originated in Egypt and came to the mainland via the island of Crete on the south, by the Achaeans who settled in the Peloponnese, and by the Dorians, Ionians, and Aeolians who entered over the mountains from Europe in the north.
The name comes from the ruins at Mycenae where a large palace and many graves were discovered. The values that emerged from Homera€™s epic tales became the basic values of Greek culture and formed the basis for Greek education.
Excellence (arete) -- doing the best you can, setting high levels of achievement, being the best at what you do, being superior in achievement to that of others. Honor -- being a person of virtue, one who lends to neighbors without expecting repayment, and one who keeps promises and commitments. Bravery -- for the Greek man bravery during war and athletic prowess in peacetime were the goals. Sacrifice -- being willing to give up self-comfort for the sake of the polis, choosing to defend the polis over family life. Glory (kleos) -- glory one achieves for parents, family, and polis through great deeds of excellence, honor, bravery.
Impermanence of human life -- everything in life is impermanent, but glory (kleos) never fades. After the Trojan Wars, the Mycenaeans went through a period of civil wars and their defenses became weakened. This period extended from the beginning of the wars with Persia up to the death of Alexander the Great in 336 B.C. The ideal Greek man was considered to be a brave warrior during war time and an excellent athlete in peace time. The olympic site at Olympia still contains the actual fields, large dirt berms where spectators sat, the tunnel through which the contestants ran onto the fields, and remnants of many statues to the gods.
Persia, a major power that developed to the northeast of the Fertile Crescent, expanded through military power into present-day Turkey (Anatolia) and into the western areas of the Black Sea, just to the north of Greece. The Greeks had established colonies in Troy, Ephesus, and other locations along the eastern edge of the Aegean in present day Turkey.
Every modern marathon is exactly the same distance, whether it is run in London, Tokyo, or Boston. Xerxes is also well known to Christians and Jews because he was the husband of Queen Esther, a Jewish young woman who lived during the Babylonian Captivity of Judah.
Xerxes took his time -- four years -- to assemble a huge army of 2 million men and 1200 ships to attack Greece. The Persians marched to a point to the north of Athens, burning and pillaging Greek villages along their path.The goal was to conquer Athens and burn it to the ground in retaliation for Dariusa€™ previous defeat at Marathon.
The Persians were like a herd of elephants attempting to crawl inside the neck of a Coke bottle. The Athenians meanwhile began evacuating all the citizens of Athens to Salamis, an island south of Athens, which was separated from the mainland by the Bay of Salamis.
Why was the Athenian army not present at Thermopylae if the goal of Xerxes was to destroy Athens? Why did Leonidas not dismiss the Thespians from the battle, as he did the other Greek troops? What can be learned from the example of how Leonidas chose Thermopylae to fight the superior forces of the Persians? By the time the Persians entered Athens, the entire city had been evacuated except for some priests and priestesses who were supposedly given the job of defending the sacred temples on the Acropolis.
Why did Xerxes not head immediately into the Peloponnese to deal with Sparta, the hometown of Leonidas, who had angered him at Thermopylae?
When the Persian ships entered the Bay of Salamis they were quickly surrounded by the more maneuverable Greek ships. The Athenians went on to build the worlda€™s largest navy and a merchant fleet that trading throughout the Mediterranean, while the Spartans developed the worlda€™s most powerful army. After the Persian wars Athens and Sparta continued to develop two radically different cultures. The Peloponnesian League attacked Athens, but the outmanned Athenians under Pericles gained allies in the Peloponnese, thus damaging Spartaa€™s supply lines, and encouraged the Spartan helots (slaves) to flee to the Athenian allied city-states for safety and freedom. Athens had built large stone walls from the city down the rocky slopes about 8 miles to Piraeus, its port on the Aegean. Eventually in following years Athens proved to be the city with the most resiliency, vitality, and potential. What two confederations were set up in Greece in view of disputes and bad attitudes between the various city-states?
Pericles was the leader of Athens following the Persian Wars and led Athens in its war against Sparta. Socrates lived during the Peloponnesian Wars that racked Greece and brought Athens and Sparta to exhaustion. Socrates sought through his philosophy to teach a better way, and to do so through the education of the youth of Athens. Socrates was upset by an earlier group of Athenian thinkers, the Sophists, who maintained that there were no universals or absolutes in life.
The elders of Athens were very disturbed by Socrates questioning tradition and teaching his students to do the same.
Socrates was held in deep respect by his students, but resented by the leaders of the polis. In the Apology of Plato (Dialogues 32, 41) when asked how he felt about his soon death, Socrates is reported by Plato to have replied that he had no feelings or emotions about death.
What does Socrates believe about the soul that leads him to conclude that everything a person needs to know already exists in his mind, and merely needs to be allowed to come out?
Since Socrates never wrote any of his teachings down, what is one source of his teachings that we can consult to discover what Socrates believed and taught? Early in life Plato wandered around the Mediterranean and was at one point captured by pirates. In The Cave, Plato describes several people chained inside a cave who have never viewed what lies on the outside of the cave.
But if there are real Forms of chairs and trees and red apples, then there are real Forms of humans, also. It was Platoa€™s emphasis on the upper story that appealed to people in Northern Europe during the Renaissance and during the Protestant Reformation, as opposed to the man-centered humanism of Aristotle which was favored in the Italian Renaissance. How is this expressed in the statement by Plato to his teacher: a€?a€?And what, Socrates, is the food of the soul? Aristotle was the son of a physician who had served the grandfather of Alexander the Great.
An educated mind is able to listen to and entertain a thought without blindly accepting it. Aristotle departed from his teacher, Plato, by maintaining, as did Confucius and Buddha, that there is not enough time in this life to worry about a life to come.
Aristotle was a pioneer biologist in observing and classifying the plants, trees, and animals of Greece.
Aristotle, in similar fashion to Plato his teacher, saw two energies or components of the soul -- desire and reason.
At the close of the middle ages, many Italians began to discard the traditions of the Roman Church.
All three of these philosophers, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, emphasized human reason as the major force of life.
In Christianity there is the important matter of the necessity of being born again, having our minds made new, of submitting our minds and wills to God, in trusting Him for wisdom and understanding. Some speculate that the gods and goddesses in Greek mythology were heroes from the earliest Mycenaean periods of Greeks history, preceding even Troy and Homer.
This speculation comes from a careful study of Greek pottery, art, and sculpture, which gives, in the opinion of some historians, evidence that the gods and goddesses may have been the glorification by the early Greeks of major characters from the line of Cain who lived prior to the flood. For instance, Zeus could possibly be Nimrod, the first of the great warriors and the founder of the first city according to Genesis. Thus Greek mythology, maintains Johnson, is a corrupted version of biblical history, a twisted memory. To understand the whole story that underlies the stories contained in Greek mythology, one must be aware of the clash between the older Titans and the younger Olympians. In other pieces of Greek art there is a continuous emphasis on capturing and grasping the tree that contains the fruit of knowledge and mysteries.
If Johnson is correct in his interpretations of the many scenes depicted in Greek pottery, Greek mythology deifies the pre-flood line of Cain and depicts Zeus as triumphant over Noah and his God for rule on the earth.
Athena is consistently represented in Greek art as not only the patron of Athens but the goddess who possesses knowledge, wisdom, and access to the mysteries.
At the wedding feast celebrating Philipa€™s marriage to Cleopatra, her father made a toast, asking the gods for the birth of a son to become heir to the throne, obviously discounting Alexandera€™s legitimacy. In the melee that followed, one of his bodyguards, a friend of Alexander, stabbed Philip to death. It is interesting to note that about 700 years later when a Roman general demanded that all of his troops sacrifice to the Emperor to confirm their loyalty, the same Thebian elite unit, now comprising a legion of 6,000 men, refused to sacrifice and the entire legion was put to death.
Alexander invaded Anatolia, conquered Syria and Palestine, became the only one in the history of Afghanistan to conquer it, and conquered mighty Egypt.
His goal was to unite the entire known world under one leader, speaking one language, and possessing one culture.
Before you read the following account, please read the story of Paula€™s visit to Athens as described by Luke, Paula€™s companion, in Acts 17:16-34. The Athenians developed a complex mythology in an attempt to make sense out of human existence. By the time of Christ there were literally several thousand gods and goddesses in the religious system of Athens.
Monuments and altars to the many gods and goddesses lined the highway from Piraeus, the port, to the center of the city of Athens. Paul stopped in Athens on his way to Corinth, waiting for companions to arrive from Thessaloniki.
In describing Paula€™s reaction to the Athenian idolatry, Luke, the companion of Paul, uses the Greek word paroxysm from which we get paroxsymal. Epicureans taught that the basis of human life was to a€?eat, drink, and have a good time, because tomorrow we will die.a€? There are no moral absolutes. Sophists were an itinerant group of philosophers who emphasized the intellect as the basis of human success. Paul was invited to climb up to Mars Hill, a large hill inside Athens about 300 yards from the Acropolis. Some have suggested that Paul made a mistake by resorting to philosophy and logic in an attempt to be accepted by the Areopagus. They asked the oracle at Delphi, what had they done to cause this plague, and most importantly, what could they do to end it? Further, the Oracle said, the Athenians must travel to the Island of Crete, to Knossos, a traditional enemy of Athens, to seek out the legendary prophet, Epimenides. Upon arriving at Athens, Epimenides noticed the hundreds of altars and monuments dedicated to the scores of Athenian deities. According to Plato, he states in his Laws, since the deity sacrificed to was unknown to the Athenians and unknown to Epimenides, the sites were named in honor of Agnosto Theo, the unknown god who had been appeased and who had lifted the plague. Plato further noted that Epimenides prophesied that in ten years Persia would again attempt to invade Athens but would be frustrated and turned back. Within ten years, Persia, under Darius, attempted to invade Athens, just as Epimenides predicted, but was defeated at the famous Battle of Marathon. Lest we become too enamored by Epimenides, however, he also claimed that Zeus was immortal.
The refusal of the people of Crete to adore Zeus as the Immortal One caused Epimenides to make that classic statement, a€?All Cretans, liars!a€? This quote is cited by Paul in Titus 1:12. In the book, Peace Child, Don Richardson describes how the Gospel seemed to be a concept beyond the ability of the Asmat tribe in New Guinea to understand. Likewise, in the Ekari tribe of New Guinea the loss was lamented of the knowledge of Ajii, a place where the dead could go after death, where there was the absence of war, illness, sadness.
In this same way, Paul used the bridge of the agnosto theo to enable the Athenians to understand the Gospel. Although Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were later revered by the rest of the world, they were not well received during their lifetimes in Athens. What truths did Epimenides declare about the true God when he made his four suggestions about the agnosto theo?
What can we learn from this story to help us in talking with other people about the Good News of Jesus? Although Rome conquered Greece, Greece in its religion, philosophy, and language conquered Rome. The Christian faith grew rapidly in Greece, including such famous Christian communities as those in Corinth, Athens, Philippi, and Thessaloniki. After the fall of Constantinople to the Islamic Ottoman Turks in 1453, most of Greece in 1460 fell to the Ottomans.The Ottoman Turks were mountain people from the north of Persia who invaded and conquered present-day Turkey by the 12th century. Facing Russian troops sent by the Christian tsar of Russia at the walls of Constantinople in 1829, the Sultan of the Ottomans finally recognized Greek independence. In the 20th Century Greece was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II, and a communist government was elected shortly after the war. Greece is important and of interest to Western Christians because it was the birthplace of the Christian Church in Europe. Greece is also the civilization that served as a bottleneck, preventing the domination of Islam in Europe. What is not laudable, is the religious darkness that existed in Greece prior to the arrival of the Gospel. What are the differences between the limited democracy of Athens and democracy as practiced in the United States?
What evidences are there for humane treatment of girls and women in the ancient Greek civilization? It is said that the Romans capture the Greeks, but in reality the Greeks captured the Romans. The classical civilizations of Greece established institutions and defined values and styles that endured for many centuries and that continue to influence our lives today.


Alongside of these religions developed two divinely revealed religions: Judaism and Christianity. The first Greek civilization was the Minoan civilization, located on the island of Crete, with Knossos as its main community.
The migration into the Greek mainland from the north by the Mycenaean people, and their subsequent invasion of Crete, resulted in a common language.
Troy was a city-state strategically located at the Hellespont, where it controlled traffic to and from Europe and Asia Minor.
Athens served as one of the models for the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, but as a direct democracy functioned very differently than the representative democracy established in the United States. While Athens was experimenting with a direct democracy, Israel had received from Jehovah through Moses a form of democratic, representative government.
Israel, even though embracing a limited monarchy, considered itself a theocracy, with Jehovah at its center and the temple and sacrificial system centered in Jerusalem. The story of the plague at Athens and the wisdom of Epimenides led to the worship of the a€?Unknown Goda€? and to the eventual entrance of the Gospel to Athens and Greece. Persia became the feared enemy of the Greek city-states, resulting in three major battles at Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis.
Ironically, the wife of Xerxes, king of Persia, was Esther, a Jewish woman whose family had been takenA  to Babylon in the Babylonian Captivity of 566 BC. The refusal of Athens to share its democratic dream with the other city-states, as well as jealousy and rebellion on the part of the other city-states, resulted in the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC). Macedonia under Philip the Great conquered all of Greece and established the Macedonian empire. The values contained in The Iliad and The Odyssey that permeated Greek culture and Western Civilization.
The difference between a direct democracy, like that of Athens, and a representative republic, like that of the United States of America.
The battles in the Persian-Greek wars at Thermopylae, Marathon, and Salamis, included the reasons why the numerically smaller Greek forces were able to ultimately defeat the vast forces of Persia.
1.Excellence (arete) --A  doing the best you can, setting high levels of achievement, being the best at what you do, being superior in achievement to that of others. 2.Honor -- being a person of virtue, one who lends to neighbors without expecting repayment, and one who keeps promises and commitments. 3.Bravery -- for the Greek man bravery during war and athletic prowess in peacetime were the goals. 4.Sacrifice -- being willing to give up self-comfort for the sake of the polis, choosing to defend the polis over family life. Paul Lunde, in his article a€?Pillars of Hercules, Sea of Darknessa€?, writes that for the Latin Middle Ages, the Atlantic was Mare Tenebrosum; for the Arabs, Bahr al-Zulamat.
This name - and its analogue, a€?The Dark Sea,a€? Bahr al-Muzlim - sufficiently indicates medieval mana€™s fear and ignorance of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Arabs used other names also, such as the scholarly Uqiyanus, directly transliterated from the Greek word okeanos, and even, in later sources from the western Islamic world, Bahr al-Atlasi [The Sea of the Atlas Mountains] - an exact rendering of the word Atlantic. The most frequent Arabic name for the Atlantic was al-Bahr al-Muhit, the Circumambient, or All-Encompassing, Ocean. The ancient belief that nothing lay beyond the Pillars of Hercules became a tremendous psychological barrier. It is a generally accepted opinion that this sea - the Atlantic - is the source of all the other seas. The Historical Annals, which presumably gave a much more detailed account of this and other voyages, is lost. The voyages of the mugharrirun and Khashkhash were private undertakings, apparently motivated by curiosity and bravado. We know little for sure about how he supported himself during such extensive travels within and beyond the lands of Islam. The information we have gathered here is the fruit of long years of research and painful efforts of our voyages and journeys across the East and the West, and of the various nations that lie beyond the regions of Islam.
The geographical sections, which are among the most interesting to modern readers, are either accounts of his own very far-flung travels or, where there are gaps in his personal experience, accounts gleaned from sources he considered reliable. Al-Jahiz claims that the Indus, the river of Sind, comes from the Nile and adduces the presence of crocodiles in the Indus as proof. Al-Masa€™udi claims he visited China, yet he actually depended very much on previous accounts to write his section on China and what he learned from contemporaries like Abu Zayd.
Al-Masa€™udi supplies a lot of theoretical information about world geography in Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems, which derives from earlier Greek works that he studied in Baghdad and Damascus.
This concept of sea division is similar to the Chinese division of five great seas in Zhou Qufeia€™s Land beyond the Passes examined in Hyunhee Parka€™s Mapping the Chinese and Islamic Worlds, although the actual divisions and standards differ from each other.
In the Sea of Rum [the Mediterranean] near the island of Iqritish [Crete], planks of ships of Indian teak, which were perforated and stitched together with fibers of the coconut tree, were found.
This discovery near Crete of the planks of a boat from the Indian Ocean surprised geographers of the 10th century, who correctly knew that the Indian Ocean was not linked to the Mediterranean.
Ahmad Shboul notes that al-Masa€™udi is distinguished above his contemporaries for the extent of his interest in and coverage of the non-Islamic lands and peoples of his day. His normal inquiries of travelers and extensive reading of previous writers were supplemented in the case of India with his personal experiences in the western part of the subcontinent. He described previous rulers in China, underlined the importance of the revolt by Huang Chao in the late Tang dynasty, and mentioned, though less detailed than for India, Chinese beliefs. Al-Masa€™udi was also very well informed about Byzantine affairs, even internal political events and the unfolding of palace coups. One example of Al-Masa€™udia€™s influence on Muslim knowledge of the Byzantine world is that we can trace the use of the name Istanbul (in place of Constantinople) to his writings of the year 947, centuries before the eventual Ottoman use of this term.
Al-Masa€?udi also made great efforts to find out as much as possible about remote areas of the world. There is a certain amount about Africa, but there he is more concerned with the geography and natural history, such as exports of panther skins, the habits of the rhinoceros and the course of the Nile, than he is with the customs of the people.
More surprising is the lack of information on North Africa and Spain, which at that time was Muslim.
In general his surviving works reveal an intensely curious mind, a universalist eagerly acquiring as extensive a background of the entire world as possible. Theories of pre-Columbus Arab arrival to the Americas state that medieval Arab explorers (from Spain and Africa) may have reached the Americas (and possibly made contact with the indigenous peoples of the Americas) at some point before Christopher Columbusa€™ first voyage to the Americas in 1492.
Numerous evidence suggests that Arabs from Spain and West Africa arrived to the Americas at least five centuries before Columbus.
In al-Masa€™udia€™s map of the world, there is a large area in the ocean, southwest of Africa, which he referred to as Ard Majhoola [Arabic for a€?the unknown territorya€?]. There are some scholars such as Professor Ivan Van Sertima and Shaykh Abdallah Hakim Quick, and articles in various Muslim publications beginning in 1996, who assert the pre-Columbian presence of Muslim Africans in the Americas.
It is one thing to read about towering figures in the ancient Muslim world like Al-Idrisi (#219), Al-Biruni (#214.3), Al-Masa€™udi and many, many others whose contributions laid the foundations of the modern sciences of history, geography, cartography, and sea navigation. To read about the existence of West Africa Muslim scholars and monarchs like Mansa Musa and Abubakari II, is titillating.
These references and more all point to what the non-expert activist dismissed as a€?wish-fulfillmenta€?. The list of distinguished Non-Muslim African American scholars who have written on the subject is long, stemming from as far back as the 1920s.
Professor Ivan Van Sertima is an internationally acclaimed historian, linguist, and anthropologist. These scholarly, ground-breaking works, focusing upon African Muslim (as opposed to European Viking) pre-Columbia exploration of North America, include those written by what is believed to be the first Western author to write on the subject, Harvard Professor Leo Weiner (Africa and the Discovery of America, 1920-22).
These works compliment references in the writings of Christopher Columbus, Balboa, and other European explorers, to those very same Muslim African explorers (specifically The Mandinka a€“the people of Kunta Kinte, ancestor of Alex Haley, author of Roots, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X) who were already present in the Caribbean and North America, before the bearers of the Cross arrived (e.g. Lunde, Paul, Caroline Stone, Kegan Paul, Masa€™udi, The Meadows of Gold, The Abbasids, translation, London and New York, 1989. Venice grew to become one of Europea€™s largest and most prosperous cities, largely as a result of its trade in luxury goods from the Far East. Milan became a major trade center for goods that were carried by land over the Alps into central Europe. Arriving in China, the Polos were welcomed back by the Mongol troops of their old friend, the Khan. Finally, after nearly two decades in the service of the Khan, the Polos were permitted by the Khan to return home, if they would agree to accompany a Yuan princess who had been promised in marriage to a Persian king (probably to create stronger trade ties between Persia and the Yuan Dynasty).
They traveled through Indonesia to Sri Lanka and India and then to their destination in the Persian Gulf. They arrived during a time of warfare between Genoa and Venice and, probably because they were viewed as possible spies, were imprisoned in Venice. In it he described such Chinese inventions as the magnetic compass, movable type printing, paper making, and the use of paper currency. Il Milione was translated into several European languages, including English (The Travels of Marco Polo).
China, India, and the African kingdoms regularly trades silk, slaves, spices, gold, silver, metalwares, and ivory. The Ottomans controlled all trade in the Eastern Mediterranean Ocean, North Africa (most countries in North Africa by this time had converted to Islam), and the Spice Islands (Indonesia had also converted from Hinduism to Islam).
The growing demand for silk, cotton, gold, silver, ivory, textiles, spices, and gun powder became a major concern for European rulers. The Mongol Empire traded European slaves and guns to Venice for trade with Africa for gold, silver, and ivory. A new passion to a€?get there before the Muslims doa€? motivated exploration and discovery of new peoples. The Chinese were poised technologically to sail around the tip of Africa and to sail westward in search of new trade centers. Trading partnerships between Venice and the Ottomans established shipping lanes across the Adriatic Sea from Greece to Italy.
The semi-autonomous Ottoman states of Algiers, Morocco, Tunis, and Tripoli made sea traffic through the Mediterranean a dangerous business for European shipping.
They also raided the coastal areas of Spain, Southern France, and East Africa to seize slaves for the slave markets in the Middle East.
They colonized what became known as the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia) in the mid-16th century and held that colony until 1948. In 1609 an English explorer, Henry Hudson, who was under the employment of the Dutch Republic, reached the harbor of present-day New York, and sailed up the river that now bears his name. Portugal was granted free access to all sea routes to Africa, India, and Asia east of that dividing line, and all previously unclaimed lands east of that line.
But when the Portuguese realized the great advantage Spain gained through Alexandera€™s arrangement in potential land in the Americas, they petitioned for an adjustment to Alexandera€™s solution. Because the boundaries of Brazil were poorly defined, the Portuguese pushed for expanded borders without significant opposition from the Spanish. Henry was the prime mover in developing trade between Portugal and other countries and continents.
By 1452 the Portuguese had so successfully developed trade routes circumventing the Ottoman-controlled trade routes, that Portugal became the European trade center for gold and slaves.
They competed with the Dutch and the Portuguese for trade with the Orient, leading to their eventual colonization of India, and, in the 19th century, port cities in China. Raleigh also forced Phillip II to postpone launching the Armada by raiding the coast of Spain and destroying the seasoned wood that was necessary to construct the water kegs needed by the sailors of the Armada.
In 1497 his ships landed in North America, the first Europeans to do so since the Vikings. Setting sail from Plymouth, England in December 1577 with six ships, Drake sailed to Brazil, then through the dangerous Magellan Straits at the southern tip of South America, up the coast to Panama, then reached as far, possibly, as California, or even Vancouver Island.
He later was the first European to discover Lake Champlain, Lake Huron, and Lake Ontario, all components of the Great Lakes.
Although best known as the year in which Columbus sailed to the New World, several other events also made 1492 A.D.
In fact, Columbus had to use the port of Palos instead of the larger port of Cadiz because Cadiz was flooded with ships carrying thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing to the Middle East, North Africa, Italy, and Greece. And with that voyage Columbus changed the world -- as the Europeans had known it --for all time. It is perhaps no accident that some of the foremost explorers of the late 1400s and early 1500s were Italians, men who were exposed to the far-reaching cultural awakening that was the Renaissance.
He listened eagerly to tales told by seafarers who had sailed the length and breadth of the Mediterranean Sea, bringing back rich cargoes for Genoa`s wealthy merchants.
At the age of twenty-five, he had the most exciting time of his life when he sailed aboard a ship that sailed out onto the immense Atlantic Ocean. Columbus spent eight years in Lisbon, working as a mapmaker and receiving the greater part of his education.
Most with whom he shared his ideas dismissed him as an idle dreamer, but Columbus was determined and ambitious in his quest. His journals expressed his belief that God had chosen him to carry the Gospel of Christ to the people of Asia. The royal riches had been depleted by the military efforts to drive the Muslim Moors from Spain.
The next day, October 12, 1492, Columbus was the first European to set foot on an island in the present-day Bahamas.
He immediately referred to the islandsa€™ inhabitants as a€?Indians.a€? However, he also sent men inland on one larger island to look for the capitol city of a€?the Khana€? (the term used in Spain for the Chinese emperor). We now know from DNA test results that the Siberian people who settled and today live in South America are distinct from the Siberian people who settled and live today in North America. The a€?Ba€? DNA is found today only in aboriginal people in Japan, Southeast Asia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. A trawler in the North Atlantic pulled up a mastedon skeleton, and with it a stone spear head or cutting tool probably used to butcher the mastedon.
Speculation is that they may have been related to the early Aborigines of Australia who traveled across the Pacific. And archeologists have long wondered at the great similarities between the pyramids of Egypt and those constructed in Central and South America. His major contribution to Europea€™s knowledge of the New World were his very accurate maps, primarily of the eastern South American coast. A German mapmaker, Martin Waldseemuller, published Vespuccia€™s map of South America in 1507 and labeled it a€?Americaa€? in honor of Vespucci. Is he a hero or a villain, a Christian missionary or a slave trader, an explorer in search of souls or a merchant in search of financial profits?
Who is to say, they maintain, that the original inhabitants Columbus encountered were any less ignorant of a true God than he?
Columbus must be viewed, not through 20th century eyeglasses, but t as a man who lived in a 15th century culture. In fact, on returning to Spain, the explorers, including Columbusa€™ crews and those that came after, carried back new diseases to Europe contracted in the Americas. His diaries and letters written both before and after his historic trips contain personal compassion for the natives he encountered and his zeal to seek their conversion to Christ. Such an agreement does not make him necessarily a despicable exploiter but a typical businessman. Hea€™d had a€?very reda€? hair in his younger years, but since hea€™d passed age 40, it had turned prematurely white. He had sailed the Mediterranean and traveled to parts of Africa, to Ireland, and probably even to Iceland. Writer Robert Hughes expressed the conventional wisdom: a€?Sometime between 1478 and 1484, the full plan of self-aggrandizement and discovery took shape in his mind. Whenever he faced a storm, a waterspout (tornado-like whirl of seawater), or rebellious crewmen, he made vows to God. In 1501 Columbus wrote, a€?I am only a most unworthy sinner, but ever since I have cried out for grace and mercy from the Lord, they have covered me completely. He died more than a decade before Martin Luther would post his 95 Theses protesting the abuse of indulgences. Not until last year was his most important religious writinga€”the Libro de las profecA­as, or Book of Propheciesa€”translated into English. Some scholars attribute his recurring encounters with a heavenly voice to mental instability, illness, or stress.
The voyage was immediately beset by calamities a broken rudder, leaks so bad they needed immediate repair, and threatened capture by the Portuguese. But on October 11, the shipa€™s log records, they began seeing signs of shore: seabirds, bits of green plants, stacks that looked they had been carved, a small plank. Columbus and his captains went ashore in an armed launch and unfurled the royal banner and two flags. As he wrote to Ferdinand and Isabella late in his life, a€?I spent six years here at your royal court, disputing the case with so many people of great authority, learned in all the arts. So he called the Taino-speaking peoples of the Arawak tribes a€?Indians.a€? The name, though flatly wrong, stuck. They had coarse black haira€”a€?almost like the tail of a horsea€?a€”with a€?handsome bodies and good facesa€? painted with black, red, or white paint.
In the wee hours of Christmas morning, a sailor decided to catch some sleep and left the tiller in the hands of a boy. Yes, the ship was wrecked beyond repair, but now he had lumbera€”lots of ita€”for building the necessary fort.
On February 14th, Columbus gathered his crew on the heaving and rolling deck to pray and make vows. In his youth, he felt God had promised him that his name would be proclaimed throughout the world. Ferdinand and Isabella, who had just united their kingdoms, soundly defeated the Moors, signaling the end of an Islamic presence in Europe. A new country, militantly united behind Christianity, had arisen and would dominate the world for a hundred years. Zion will come from Spain.a€? For hundreds of years, the holy sites of Jerusalem had been held captive by the infidel Muslims. Augustinea€™s teaching, Columbus knew that all history fell into seven agesa€”and he was in the sixth, the next to last.
When he says sincerely,a€?Our Lord in his goodness guides me so that I may find this gold,a€? we cringe. Although Ferdinand and Isabella made military strikes into Muslim-held North Africa, they never mounted a grand crusade.
He took three more voyages across the Atlantic, each lasting several years and filled with harrowing storms, crew rebellions, illnesses (at one point his eyes bled), and encounters with native Americans.
In May 1493, he asked Ferdinand and Isabella to set aside 1 percent of all gold taken from the islands to pay for establishing churches and sending monks. Columbus became absolutely wealthy, a€?a millionaire by any standard.a€? But he had driven such a hard bargain with the crowna€”hereditary titles and a€?the tenth part of the wholea€? of gold he founda€”that the monarchs continually had to limit his power and wealth. I found myself in such a pass that in an attempt to escape death I took to the sea in a small caravel. Late in life, with the help of a friend, a monk, Columbus assembled excerpts from the Bible and medieval authors.
But he wasna€™t the first or last Christian to read his personal destiny into a Scripture verse.
It was the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan who in 1519 embarked on a trip which would be the first to sail across the Pacific Ocean--and all the way around the world. He and his crew made a great friendship with their early contacts on the islands and were persuaded to stay several months to recuperate and replenish their supplies of food and water. Whether urged on by the now Christian chief or due to a threatened invasion, Magellan set sail for their island with 40 of his men.
They had completed their journey around the world, proving once and for all that the earth was a sphere and that trade with Asia was possible via a route across the Pacific. In 1539 De Soto returned to the New World, this time as leader of an expedition of nine ships, 620 men, 220 horses, and numerous priests, craftsmen, engineers, and farmers who came from Cuba and various sections of Spain.
Hearing of gold deposits in the north, in 1540 De Soto made his way north through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee, seeking gold. They distributed land to the peninsulares, who, in turn, were expected to protect the native Americans as parents would their children, and instruct them in the Christian faith. Because not born in Spain, they were refused access to leadership positions in the government, but because born to Spanish parents, had full access to education and business. They were at the bottom of the pecking order, and were especially mistreated by the creoles, mestizos, and mulattos. In many cases they were treated worse than animals, because they were replaceable while animals like horses were less so.
What they had in mind was not more colonists from Spain, but, rather, the introduction of slave workers from Africa! The clergy were accused of attempting to create a Church-dominated kingdom with the clergy in charge of the kingdom. From the Americas corn, potatoes, yams, squash, beans, cocoa, peanuts, gold, and silver flowed to Europe.
The earlier supply of Islamic slaves from Spain and Christian slaves from Eastern Europe in the slave markets of Europe and the Middle East dried up after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the expulsion of the Moors from Spain in 1492. Up until this time slavery was identified with conquest and victory in war -- not ethnicity or skin color.
Increasingly African slaves were identified as descendants of Ham, one of the sons of Noah.
In England the Muscovy Company for trade with Russia and the East India Company for trade with India were created.
The easy acquisition of silver and gold from Peru and Bolivia resulted in a major miscalculation that severely damaged the economic future of Spain. What five groups of people from Europe gradually made their way along the coasts of Africa, Asia, and the New World? In the East Indies, now know as Indonesia, were spices, coffee, rubber and Portugal got there first.
If you were looking t the map in 1493 instead of 2008, who would you have thought got the better of the deal, Spain or Portugal? Why did he go to his death with only a few soldiers and refuse the help of the friendly chiefs? Ita€™s most famous ruler was the legendary king Minos who established the capitol city of Knossos. It was a warrior culture mentioned by Homer in his two epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, describing the events that took place during the Trojan Wars between the Mycenaeans from the mainland of Greece and Troy on the western shoreline of Anatolia (present-day Turkey).
They were carried into Roman culture by Virgil, were embraced by the Byzantines, and were carried into Italy during the Renaissance.
Art, pottery, sculpturing, and architecture developed, establishing the foundation for much of the Classical period. Athenian democracy developed under Pericles and the Parthenon was built on the Acropolis in Athens in worship of Athena. It derived its name from the goddess Athena who in Greek myth competed with Poseidon to be the patron of the city.
The Isthmus games were held every two years at the narrow isthmus of Greece, located near Corinth. He was most angered by Athens and Sparta, because when his father Darius sent messengers to those two cities to offer them the opportunity to surrender prior to the Battle of Marathon, they killed Dariusa€™ emissaries by throwing them down into deep wells. The Persians arrived at a narrow, rocky pass, Thermopylae, which overlooked the rocky shoreline below -- a 50-foot wide narrow pass which only permitted a limited numbers of troops to squeeze through the pass at a time. King Leonidas of Sparta blocked the pass with 300 Spartans and 400 soldiers from other city-states.
A Greek traitor, however, revealed a hidden pass through the mountains that would by-pass Thermopylae and allow the Persian to attack Leonidas from the rear.
He sent a messenger to Xerxes with the message that many of the Greeks were terrified, that they would not fight, and that if Xerxes sent his ships into the Bay of Salamis they could easily wipe out the Athenian navy. This would not bode well for the future of peace between the two city-states, however, and ultimately resulted in the Peloponnesian Wars. During the Peloponnesian War Athens suffered from a plague, which took the life of Pericles.
Pericles led a number of major building projects in Athens including the rebuilding of the Parthenon, constructing a large statue of Athena in the Parthenon, and rebuilt the acropolis. Socrates maintained that the universe and life below here on earth pointed to a different reality.
In the dialogue, Meno, Socrates set forth the idea that when a person is born it is a reincarnation of the eternal soul which contains all knowledge. He argued that the soul is eternal, lives on after the death of the physical body, and existed before the physical body.
Although he disagreed with some of his teachings, Plato memorialized Socrates in his work, the Apology of Plato. In it he describes the ideal form of government and society comprised of three classes of people: producers (craftsmen, farmers, builders), warriors, and guardians (rulers).
The goal is to follow the lead of the rational and spiritual portions of the soul and to make them masters over the appetite.
They can only speculate and guess, based upon the shadows they see moving across the floor and walls of the cave.
Plato seemed to these North European Christians to be saying that reality is above where God is.
After his education in Athens, Aristotle was hired by King Philip of Macedonia to be the personal tutor of this son, the future Alexander the Great in Macedonia. Too many good things go unaccomplished because of either a bad beginning or not beginning at all.
During the Reign of Terror in France all Christian symbols were removed from the cathedral in Paris and a statute of the Goddess of Human Reason was placed in the cathedral. On the other hand, there is considerable evidence, some speculate, that many of the Greek gods and goddesses were reminder remnants of Biblical history prior to the Flood of Noah.
Eve may be the prototype of Athena, because invariably when depicted in Greek sculpture Athena is pictured with a snake at her one side and a sword at the other.
Access to its snowy peaks was very difficult, it was shrouded in mystery, and was supposed by the Greeks to be the home of the Twelve Olympians. He is the son of Gaea and then became her husband; together they had many offspring, including twelve of the Titans. Because Atlas led the Titans in the battle, he was singled out by Zeus for a special punishment and was condemned to hold up for eternity the world on his back. Earth (Gaia) presents the new-born child to Athena, who represents the reborn serpent-friendly Eve after the Flood.
In Section One of the Cycle of Rebirths in Buddhism, the gods and demigods are continually engaged, as here with the Greek deities, in a struggle over who will obtain the magic fruit of the tree that dispenses wisdom and eternity. To depict this, Athena is usually accompanied by one or several snakes -- the symbol to the Greeks of hidden wisdom. As the story goes, Olympia, a mystical follower of the god Dionysus, often slept with a giant snake in her bed as both a pet and a spiritual symbol of Zeus.
Olympia immediately feared that Cleopatra would produce a son who would become the legitimate heir to Philipa€™s throne. When he ran from the banquet, two of Alexandera€™s other friends caught him and killed him. When a boy baby was later born to Cleopatra, Alexandera€™s mother Olympia arranged to have Cleopatra and the child killed to prevent a challenger to Alexandera€™s throne. In Egypt he left behind a Greek, General Ptolemy, who became the first of the Ptolemaic pharaohs. Wherever he went he left behind Greek soldiers to intermarry with the population and in this way to capture the local culture. In other words, Paul was a€?deeply shaken.a€? he had a a€?sudden attacka€? or a€?deep disturbance,a€? and felt impelled to make a statement. He informs them about the unknown God, the Creator, who is near to each one of us, the one whom they worship but whose identity is a mystery to them.
The Greeks, whether from Sparta, Athens, or Thebes, would never think of going to war, embarking on a new project, or taking a long trip, without consulting with the Oracle. The Oracle's advice disturbed them -- an Unknown God was the cause of the plague, she said, who intended to punish the Athenians for having violated many years before an ancient Greek code of conduct against another city-state. The grateful citizens wanted to reward Epimenides, but he declined any payment, asking merely for a treaty of peace between Athens and his home city, Knossos.
He spent the majority of his time in front of them filling that empty concept of the unknown god with truth about the God they worshipped as the agnosto theo.
That is, until he discovered the exchange of little children made between warring clans for the purpose of making peace.
The Roman gods, for example, were for the most part simply re named Greek gods from Greek mythology.
It impacted the entire culture of Greece and the population were almost entirely Christianized by the middle of the second century. They destroyed most of the ancient Christian communities in Turkey, like Ephesus, Laodicea, Pergamum, and other churches listed in the New Testament. The long struggle of Greece to resist Islam and to serve as a guard for the rest of Christian Europe against the Islamic Ottomans was at last over.
It is interesting to travel through Greece to see white crosses placed virtually every hilltop to celebrate their independence from Ottoman rule. Churches at Corinth, Ephesus, Thessaloniki, and Philippi all had New Testament letters addressed to them. Many school children in America study Greek mythology in school, thinking of it as some sort of fairy tale, cartoonish system, not realizing its demonic roots and total domination of the Greek culture.
Thomas Jefferson seemed to have favored implementing a certain form of limited democracy in the United States.
How might they have been modified and re directed after the Greeks embraced the Christian faith?
They drove many of the Mycenaean people to the Ionian coast, and intermarried with the remaining Mycenaeans to form the Greek people. 700 B.C), authored two important epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the oldest known European literature.
There is some indication that this mythology was the deification of a€?heroica€? men and women of old, who, before the Flood, composed the line of unrighteous persons. This was in stark contrast to the polytheism and idolatry practiced by its neighbors, including Greece and Rome. Both phrases meant a€?The Sea of Darkness,a€? and anyone who has looked west from the northern coast of Portugal and seen the heavy cloudbanks lying across the horizon will admit the name is well-suited to the Atlantic. Writing almost 1400 years after Aristotle, and perfectly aware that the earth is spherical, al-Masa€™udi could still compare it to an egg floating in water. They tell marvelous stories of it, which we have related in our work entitled The Historical Annals, where we speak of what was seen there by men who entered it at the risk of their lives and from which some have returned safe and sound. If he went north, he may well have plundered the coasts of Portugal, France or even England. The author of this work compares himself to a man, who having found pearls of all kinds and colours and gathers them together into a necklace of and makes them into an ornament that its possessor guards with great care.
I do not know where he could have found such an argument, but he puts the theory forward un his book, Of the Great Cities and Marvels of the Earth.
The eighty-five sources that he lists at the beginning of his book include Ibn Khurradadhbiha€™s Book of Routes and Realms. It begins with traditional Greek theories about the shape of the earth and the division of the lands and seas.
Whatever form it took, systemized information about sea divisions was crucial to geographers who sought to understand the shape of the world, and they were able to receive information about the seas from those who actually sailed in the vast ocean to reach their destinations. They were of ships that had been wrecked and tossed about by the waves from the waters of the seas.
This could only explain how the individual planks flowed into the Mediterranean, al-Masa€™udi concludes. Other authors, even Christians writing in Arabic in the Caliphate, had less to say about the Byzantine Empire than al-Masa€™udi. He demonstrates a deep understanding of historical change, tracing current conditions to the unfolding of events over generations and centuries. Again, while he may have read such earlier Arabic authors as Ibn Khurradad, Ibn al-Faqih, Ibn Rusta and Ibn Fadlan, al-Masa€™udi presented most of his material based on his personal observations and contacts made while travelling.
He recorded the effect of westward migration upon the Byzantines, especially the invading Bulgars.
This was clearly not easy, but he managed to glean a certain amount about the Slavs, for example, small numbers of whom traded regularly in Baghdad, as well as the other peoples of Central and Eastern Europe. This is slightly surprising, since the large number of African slaves in Baghdad would have made gathering information relatively simple. He does say a little about Galicia, but clearly al-Andalus did not interest Baghdad as much as Baghdad interested al-Andalus. The geographical range of his material and the reach of his ever inquiring spirit is truly impressive.
In any case, each of my works contains information omitted in the book that preceded it, information which could not be ignored and knowledge of which is of the greatest importance and a genuine need.
Proponents of these theories use as evidence, reports of expeditions and voyages conducted by Arab navigators and adventurers who allegedly reached the Americas from the late ninth century onwards.
Arab sailors in the 10th century sailed westward from the Spanish port of Delba [Palos] into the Ocean of Darkness and Fog. The oral traditions, scholarly writings, and academic research of experts ranging from centuries ago in the ancient world, to the present are offered as an argument. On the contrary, ancient Arabic language maps, Native American tribes with African names and words clearly embedded in their languages, statues, diaries, artifacts, etc. They include not only Muslim African Americans like Clyde Ahmad Winters (who wrote a series of brilliant articles in the magazine Al-Ittihad in the late 1970s, including a€?Islam in Early North and South Americaa€?, and a€?The Influence of Mande Languages on Americaa€?,) and Shaykh Abdallah Hakim Quick (who is a widely respected and accomplished historian with a doctorate in West African studies, and author of Deeper Roots), but also scholars from the African continent - Dr.
Weiner heads a list of historians and social scientists who were neither African nor African Americans (including Basil Davidson, Robert Silverburg, Cyrus Gordon (Before Columbus, 1971), Legrand H. However, the ships traveled back and forth between Europe ferrying the Crusaders to the Holy Land brought back to Europe many new and exciting products from Asia through the Middle East. Silk, porcelain, and metalware from China, spices and coffee from Indonesia and the Philippines, tea and spices from India, and a variety of rare new woods never seen before in Europe, were but some of the goods that excited Europe. It was also a description of the cultural practices, the languages, and religious practices of China. It fueled the interest and imagination of soon-to-be explorers, including John Cabot of England and Christopher Columbus, a native of Genoa who would sail to the New World under the sponsorship of the king and queen of Spain.
European industries that produced textiles, wool, and German metalware needed to find new routes to their customers in Africa and Asia. Genoa dominated trade in the Black Sea and Western Mediterranean areas, but were increasingly harassed by the Ottomans. Marco Polo described huge five-masted ships that regularly traded with Ceylon, India, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Because most of the raiders were from the Berber tribes of North Africa, the north coast of Africa was called the Barbary Coast and the Islamic raiders became known as the Barbary Pirates. Their raids were so frequent that parts of the coastal areas of southern Spain were abandoned by their original inhabitants.
This enabled them to control the production and trade of three crucial spices: nutmeg, cloves, and mace, as well as controlling the exporting of precious woods from Indonesia.
Spain had free access to all routes to the Americas, Asia, and India, and all previously unclaimed lands west of that line.
Thus, in June 1494 the line was re-negotiated westward to a new distance of 1,770 km (1,099.83 miles) through the Treaty of Tordesilla, so named for the Spanish town of Tordesilla where the treaty was signed.
The company soon controlled the production and exportation of Indian cotton, indigo dye, saltpeter ( nitrate needed in the production of gunpowder), tea, and opium.
In 1629 he persuaded Cardinal Richelieu, French regent who served the young king Louis XIII, to encourage French nobility to fund the new colony of Quebec. In 1803, France also lost its land possessions west of the Mississippi River through a sale made by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte to the American President Thomas Jefferson.
Little by little the control of the Moors was eroding, beginning in the north of Spain where the Kingdom of Asturias was overthrown in 718 A.D. So, there was evident confusion on Columbusa€™ part about where his ships had actually landed. Original studies indicated that four distinct haplogroups migrated into North and Central America in waves across the Bering Sea bridge. It has been found, for instance, in the ancient ancestors of the Basque people in northern Spain. It closely resembles tools made by a migratory group whose remain have been found in Spain and Portugal. The name stuck and the two continents have been known as the Americas from that point forward.


He urged the king and queen of Spain to send priests to work with the people and to instruct them in the Christian faith.
After all, he was the one who took the greatest of risks in making his initial trips across the Atlantic.
Inside, in the cool quiet, knelt CristA?bal ColA?n, captain general of three small ships anchored in the towna€™s inlet below. Their missiona€”the wild-eyed idea of their foreigner captaina€”was to sail west, away from all visible landmarks. There, in the land of the Great Khan, houses were roofed with gold, streets paved with marble. He boasted later in life, a€?I have gone to every place that has heretofore been navigated.a€? He knew the Atlantic as well or better than anyone, and he probably knew more about how to read currents, winds, and surfaces of the sea than do sailors today. He would win glory, riches, and a title of nobility by opening a trade route to the untapped wealth of the Orient. He saw them as the fulfillment of a divine plan for his lifea€”and for the soon-coming end of the world.
I have found the most delightful comfort in making it my whole aim in life to enjoy his marvelous presence.a€? He constantly associated with reform minded Franciscans and spent perhaps five months at the white-walled monastery of Santa MarA­a de La Rabida. Others complain that Columbusa€™s biographers described him as more religious than he really was.
A week after losing sight of the Canary Islands, the pilots discovered to their consternation that the compasses no longer worked right.
This a€?astonished them,a€? and Columbus compared it to the miracles that accompanied Moses. Each was white with a central bright green cross flanked by a green F and Y for a€?Ferdinanda€? and a€?Isabella.a€? Columbus declared that these obviously inhabited lands now belonged to the Catholic sovereigns.
In a sense, he would be like the legendary giant Christopher, who carried Christ on his back across a wide river. Waves broke over the ships, sails had to be lowered, and soon they were driven by the wind until they were wildly lost. They put chick-peas in a cap and had sailors draw to see which one picked the chick-pea with a cross cut into it. And at age 25, he had survived a shipwreck and six-mile swima€”a sign, he told his son Ferdinand, that God had a plan for him. Columbus had used the port of PalA?s, in fact, because the larger CA?diz was flooded with thousands of fleeing Jewish refugees. The Crusadersa€™ Book of Secrets, written in the early fourteenth century, said it would take 210,000 gold florins to mount a crusade. They instructed him a€?to win over the peoples of the said islands and mainland by all ways and means to our Holy Catholic Faitha€? and sent 13 religious workers on his second voyage. As a colonial governor, he ruled the farmers and settlers with such a heavy hand they rebelled. Columbus spent his last years in legal battles and worries that his estate would be whitled away. Then the Lord came to help, saying, a€?O man of little faith, be not afraid, I am with thee.a€™ And he scattered my enemies and showed me the way to fulfill my promises. The unfinished work, titled Book of Prophecies, uses Scriptures to show that God had ordained his voyages of discovery and that God would be doing further wonderful things for the church. Although their commander, Magellan, died in battle in the Philippines, a handful of survivors of Magellan`s well-planned voyage returned home in 1522 after three grueling years at sea.
The Christian chief pleaded with Magellan to accompany him with his warriors, but Magellan refused, stating that if God could raise one chief from the death bed, he could deliver Magellan and prove His power. The intention was to explore the west coast of Florida and the middle of the newly discovered continent.
De Soto took male slaves from each area and forced them to carry cargo until they could continue no longer. Frustrated with the results, the expedition headed south to meet two supply ships in the Gulf of Mexico, but they were attacked by the Mobila tribe (present-day Mobile, Alabama). Those who did remain were introduced to European feudalism by means of the Spanish Encomienda System. This caused Catholic missionaries to complain to the viceroys, the monarchy, and even to the Pope in Rome, requesting intervention to make life more humane for the native Americans.
The viceroys and peninsulares dismissed the complaints brought by the clergy as coming from biased, self-seeking opponents. Increasingly Spain depended on native American slaves to work the gold and silver mines and to serve on the sugar plantations.
The Dutch East India Company funded and controlled shipping to the Spice Islands (Indonesia) and led to the colonization of Indonesia by the Dutch.
Because of the new wealth Spain did not engage in new methods of production as did other nations in Europe, relying instead on its wealth to purchase the goods demanded by its people.
He probably did not write the Iliad and the Odyssey because handwriting was not discovered in Greece until about 400 years after the time Homer was said to have lived.There were Greek colonies all along the Ionian coastline.
The philosophic schools of Socrates and Plato developed.The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) was fought between Athens and Sparta and their allied city-states. Darius and the Persians invaded Greece with over 100,000 troops but were defeated by 20,000 Greek hoplites in the famous battle at Marathon just north of Athens. Her story is recorded in the Book of Esther and through her efforts a major slaughter of the Jews was averted. When a spy told them that the Persians were so numerous that when they shot their arrows they blocked the sun, Leonidasa€™ response was, a€?Good!
Xerxes sent about 400 Persian triremes into the bay where the larger Persian ships, loaded with soldiers who could not swim, were faced by 300 smaller, sleeker Greek ships built to sail from island to island and were much more maneuverable. These wars involved virtually all of the Greek city-states who allied themselves with either Athens or Sparta. He was so important to the life of Athens that his period of leadership is called the Age of Pericles (5th century). He is also known for his contribution to the further development of democracy in Athens, which also provided salaries for magistrates and limited eligibility for public office to those who were born to two Athenian-born parents.
Confucius was the result of the Warring States period in Chinese history and he sought employment as a civil servant in order to sell his ideas to the rulers. Therefore, each child, upon physical birth, is a reincarnation of that eternal soul and hence possesses that ancient knowledge.
When he was ransomed by his friends they purchased a small property for him so that he could settle down.
But we are trapped in our human bodies and cannot conceive of those Forms other than by observing their shadows down here in the lower story where we live.
We only see his reflections down here but one day we will be fully enlightened when we go to heaven to be where he is. For example, it is okay to laugh at a joke during lunch time, but probably is a bad idea in the middle of your grandmothera€™s funeral.
They knew nothing about a personal God who lies outside of us, who communicates with us, and who has set out for us ideas and principles that are absolutes by which we are to live.
Hera represents the serpenta€™s Eve before the Flood, and Athena represents the rebirth of the serpenta€™s Eve after the Flood. The ruler of the Titans was Cronus (or Chronos, from which we get the words a€?chronologya€? and a€?chronometera€?). Gaea seems to have been an earth-mother who was worshipped before the Indo-European invasion into Greece that lead to the Hellenistic civilization. His rule ended when his son Cronus, encouraged by Uranusa€™ mother-wife,Gaea, castrated him. 190 BC), Nereus, the Greek Noah, standing in the rear to left, is the only one among the many other figures who is not actively engaged in the battle. The figure to the left of Gaia and the child is Hephaistos, the eldest son of Zeus and Hera, the deified Cain, the eldest son of Adam and Eve. Is it possible that Athena, as with the other Greek deities, is a flashback to a pre-flood person -- possibly, Eve? Later she convinced the young Alexander that when she conceived him in her womb, she had become pregnant, not by Philip, but by Zeus, king of the gods. When Philip, drunken from wine, stumbled over a table in his attempt to strike Alexander, Alexander taunted Philip in front of all the guests by exclaiming, a€?Look!
The most famous of his descendants was Cleopatra, lover of Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony. He also created several cities which he named Alexandria, the most famous becoming the capitol of Egypt under the Greek Ptolemaic pharaohs. As each group of invaders swept into Greece, parts of their mythologies and deities of their religions were incorporated into the Greek religion. On the top of the Acropolis in Athens stood the Parthenon, the temple devoted to the worship of Athena. Luke tells us that Paul attracted the attention of the Epicureans and the Stoics, the two main schools of Athenian philosophy at the time. They even founded a debating forum called the Areopagus, a unique Athenian group, at one time the ruling institution of Athens. Paul was a master at meeting people where they were, moving them in the direction of truth, and then explaining to them the Gospel.
Every year a woman from a local village was selected to spend the entire year sitting on a stool at Delphi, next to an open crevasse created by one of the many earthquakes in the region. All of the known gods either dona€™t hear us or are incapable of helping you with this plague.
It was in this condition that the Apostle Paul found the Athenians when he visited them in the first century A.
When one of the warring clans wanted peace, they would take one of their own baby boys and, traveling under a truce to the enemy village, would offer the little boy as a peace offering. Letters in the New Testament were written to Greek churches at Corinth, Thessaloniki, Philippi, and Ephesus.
When Constantine built the new Roman capitol at Constantinople, Greece became the host-area for the Byzantine Empire.
Christian monasteries in mountainous Greece became the safe havens for the Christian scriptures and other Christian literature. Many buildings in the United States imitate great architecture with their large marble pillars, built during the a€?Greek revivala€? in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It was ill-omened: for Christians, the word tenebrosum suggested evil and evoked the Prince of Darkness.
Two of these, The Green Sea and The Circumambient Ocean, appear in the passage just quoted from the famous 10th century Arab historian and geographer al-Masa€™udi, whose works are full of fascinating geographical information.
The Babylonians, and perhaps the Sumerians before them, envisaged the inhabited portion of the world as an upturned boat, a gufa, floating in the sea.
The Arab historian Ibn Khaldun, writing 400 years after al-Masa€™udi and almost 1900 years after Aristotle, compared the inhabited portion of the world to a grape floating in a saucer of water. Thus, a man from Cordoba named Khashkhash got together a number of young men from the same city and they set sail on the ocean in ships they had fitted out. But the story occurs in the context of a discussion of the All-Encompassing Sea, not the coasts of northern Europe, which were relatively well-known to the Arab geographers. Medieval historians focused their attention on the ruler and his court, and to a certain extent on the a€?urban elite.a€? The doings of private citizens, particularly of the humbler classes, are only incidentally mentioned by Arab historians of the Middle Ages - or indeed, by their Christian counterparts. As both a historian and geographer al-Masa€™udi presents China in the context of the entire world known to him in his Muruj al-dhahab wa-mdadin al-jawhar [Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems]. It is an excellent work, but since the author never sailed, nor indeed traveled sufficiently to be acquainted with the kingdoms and cities, he did not know that the Indus in Sind has perfectly well-known sources. Like Ibn Khurradadhbih, he states that China was one of the seven ancient nations that existed before Islam and claims that its people descended from Noah. A general account of the seas based on Greek tradition ends with the Abyssinian Sea, that is, the Indian Ocean.
Muslim geographers always began their accounts with the descriptions of seas and islands, and they often updated these discussions based on new information from contemporary sailors of the Indian Ocean. This [type of ship] exists only in the Abyssinian sea [the Indian Ocean] because all of the ships of the Sea of Rum and the west [emending Arab to gharb] are nailed, while the ships of the Abyssinian sea are not fastened with iron nails, because the sea water dissolves the iron, so the nails become thin and weak in the sea.
The seas did not connect to each other until the Suez Canal was constructed in the late 19th century.
He also described the geography of many lands beyond the Caliphate, as well as the customs and religious beliefs of many peoples. He perceived the significance of interstate relations and of the interaction of Muslims and Hindus in the various states of the subcontinent. He surveyed the vast areas inhabited by Turkic peoples, commenting on the extensive authority of the Khaqan previously, though no longer in al-Masa€™udia€™s time. He has some knowledge of other peoples of eastern and western Europe, even far away Britain. Thus I have reviewed every century, together with the events and deeds which have marked it, up until the present. They returned after a long absence with fabulous treasures from a strange and curious land or unknown territory. The truth is that there is such a constantly growing, extensive body of cultural, archaeological, anthropological, and linguistic evidence of Western and Northern African Muslim pre-Columbian American (and Caribbean) presence, that those who study the evidence and continue to deny the obvious, may reveal themselves to be rooted in old, racist, European renditions of American history. Both Idrisi and Masa€™udi wrote of Muslim African trans-Atlantic excursions to the Western world. Sulayman Nyang, the Gambian-born Howard University Professor of African Studies , as well as Kofi Wangara, and others .
Genoa provided the sailors, ship captains, and the know-how for the later Portuguese and Spanish explorations.
Food that was spoiled or even rotten became palatable when the rich spices of the Orient were added. They were four to five times larger than European ships and possessed a technology not known to Europeans. At other times they extorted large payments in order to allow merchant ships to pass through their waters. He was especially interested in exploring the west coast of Africa, which became the key area for providing African slaves to Portugal -- now the key European slave market. Some believe it was in Nova Scotia, others in Newfoundland, and some believe it might have been in Maine.
He then successfully sailed across the Pacific Ocean to the Indonesian islands, westward through the Indian Ocean to the tip of Africa, and then northward to England where he arrived in 1580.
Later colonies were established at Plymouth (1620) by Pilgrim settlers, the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629, and the Connecticut Colony in 1636. Because India had traditionally served as a middle man in trading Chinese products, especially porcelain and silk to Africa and Italy, the company gained control of that industry as well. Columbus seemed to them to be a means by which new wealth could be acquired from a new route to the Spice Islands as well as confiscation of the fabled gold deposits in the New World. They were offered one alternative to emigration, and that was conversion to the Christian faith. He and the crew immediately gave thanks to God for a safe arrival in a worship service and he planted both the royal banner of Spain and a wooden cross on the beach of the island he named a€?San Salvadora€? -- Holy Savior. Walter Neves, an anthropologist at the University of Sao Paulo, who made the initial discovery along with an Argentine colleague, Hector Pucciarelli. Not to mention Egyptian mummies and German skeletons that show strong amounts of nicotine in their remains, people who died long before the European voyagers of the 16th century began shipping tobacco from the New World to Europe.
But we do know that from the traditional European perspective, the explorer who first a€?discovereda€? the New World in modern times was Christopher Columbus.
However, towards the end of the 20th century other voices began to question and attack his motives and his treatment of the islandsa€™ original inhabitants. Did not Christ die for their salvation as well as for the Spanish, Portuguese, and Italians?
With Columbus saying confession and hearing mass, were some ninety pilots, seamen, and crown appointed officials.
They would leave behind Spain and Portugal, the a€?end of the world,a€? and head straight into the Mare Oceanum, the Ocean Sea. And most bizarre of all, we dona€™t knowa€”and will probably never knowa€”the spot where he came ashore. As he put it in 1500, a€?God made me the messenger of the new heaven and the new earth of which he spoke in the Apocalypse of St. He read from the Vulgate Bible and the church fathers but, typical for his era, mingled astrology, geography, and prophecy with his theology. Some protest that Columbus was greedy and obsessively ambitious, so he couldna€™t have been truly religious, as if competing qualities cannot exist in one person. Few took it as a sign of land, but when the crew gathered to sing Salve Regina (a€?Hail, Queena€?), Columbus instructed his men to keep careful lookout. In spite of that it later came to pass as Jesus Christ our Savior had predicted and as he had previously announced through the mouths of His holy prophets.a€¦ I have already said that reason, mathematics, and maps of the world were of no use to me in the execution of the enterprise of the Indies.
He also, a Christopher, a a€?Christ-bearer,a€? would carry Christ across the wide Ocean Sea to peoples who had never heard the Christian message.
That sailor would go on a holy pilgrimage to a shrine of the Virgin Mary if they landed safely. That was a mere 155 years away, and much had to happen: all peoples of the world would convert to Christianity, the Holy Land would be rescued from the infidels, the Antichrist would come. If Columbus could find enough gold in the Indies especially if he could find the lost mines of Solomon, which were known to be in the Easta€”he could pay for a Holy Land crusade. Columbus wanted gold not only for himself, but also for a much larger reason: to pay for the medieval Christiana€™s dream, the retaking of the Holy Land. In his will, Columbus instructed his son Diego to support from his trust four theology professors to live on Hispaniola and convert the Indians. Some have criticized Columbus for the a€?providential and messianic delusions that would come to grip him later in lifea€? and accused him of megalomania. Magellan spent several days with the man and prayed for him, asking God to heal him and to show the islanders His power.
He then had them killed and took slaves from the other peoples through whose territories he passed. Rather than covering him and hiding the event, Ham told his brothers, who then went in to cover their father. The steady use of silver and gold by Spain greatly increased the amount available in Europe, drove the value of silver and gold down, and resulted in Spain becoming one of the least financially healthy nations in Europe.
The Iliad and the Odyssey were memorized by the Greeks and became essential components of Greek thought and culture.
It is proposed by some that writing developed in Greece shortly after Homer in order to record his epics. It was in response to the aftermath of this war and the defeat of Athens by Sparta that Socrates (469-399 BC) grew to prominence in an attempt to bring order out of the chaos that developed. Pressure from Greecea€™s traditional enemy, Persia, prevented the idea of limited democracy from developing further and it was forgotten until much later under the leadership of Pericles (c. The Olympic games were held every four years at Olympia, in south-west Greece in the Peloponnese. Darius, king of Persia, was furious to learn that Athens had aided the Greek colonies in their rebellion. A bad taste was left in the mouths of the Athenians because the promised military assistance from Sparta never materialized. The troops were recruited (usually by force) from all of the Persian colonies throughout the Middle East. Hearing that the entire army and navy of Athens was on the nearby island of Salamis, Xerxes decided to postpone his march through the isthmus and to first annihilate the Athenians.
Xerxes, who was overlooking the battle from a high cliff, watched in dismay as the Greeks used oars, spears, and heavy clubs to kill the Persians when their triremes were overturned. The job of the teacher is simply to induce it to come out by asking wise, guiding questions.
He named the property Academus -- Academy -- because he quickly turned it into the site for a school, following the pattern of his mentor, Socrates. Each has its own area of specialization and should not intrude into the areas of the other two classes.
It is okay to eat a doughnut, but probably not a good idea to eat a dozen doughnuts, especially just before you go to bed or just before running a race. For instance, even though every village and town had its own favorite god or goddess and each had its own temple or sacred place, there was one goddess to whom it was permissible to make sacrifice, and none of the other gods and goddesses would be offended. To insure his safety and superior position, when each of his children were born, he ate them!
The sculptors have placed him as a mute witness to the Greek godsa€™ defeat of the Giants (Nereusa€™ Yahweh-believing sons) signifying the end of Greek faith in Noaha€™s God. Heracles, the Nimrod of Genesis, demands to know something that only the Salt Sea Old Man can tell him.
Philip, King of Macedonia, assembled a powerful military and was intent on conquering Persia as payback for Persiaa€™s earlier invasions of Greece and, in his day, its current ongoing threat to the well-being of Greece.
However, he died prior to completing the second step, his planned invasion of Anatolia and Persia. This divine parentage elevated Alexander to be a god in the flesh, on a par with the noblest heroes of Greek mythology. Did Olympia and Alexander assassinate Philip prior to any chance of Philip fathering a son with Cleopatra? Beyond the beauty of the sites visited, however, Paul was deeply disturbed by the rampant idolatry. While Paul seemed to them to be an ignorant babbler, still, it was new and interesting information he was babbling about! By the time of Paula€™s arrival it had become more like a breakfast club that gathered to hear all the latest ideas, fads, and philosophies.
His approach at Athens was not a new tactic and did not result in a rejection of the Gospel. Assemble also teams of stone masons and have ready a large supply of stones.a€? The next morning 100 goats arrived together with teams of masons and loads of stones.
Second, if there is an unknown god, that god must have the ability and the inclination to hear us when we sacrifice to him or her. The Greeks resisted conversion by the Muslim Ottomans and maintained a strong Christian culture, even in the face of frequent persecutions. This old Sumerian word was used to describe the round-bottomed reed boats used in the marshes of southern Iraq, where they are still known by the same name. We know as much as we do about the efforts of Prince Henry the Navigator to find the sea-route to the Indies because these expeditions were sponsored by the Crown, and the same is true of the four voyages of Columbus.
Thus having been well traveled throughout both the a€?Abbasid empire and India during his lifetime, al-Masa€™udi acquired a variety of sources that he used to compile his encyclopedic historical and geographical masterpiece.
In contrast, al-Masa€™udi supplies richer and more detailed description than Ibn khurradadhbih does, providing detailed geographical facts and a genealogy of the imperial family (which is unreliable, however, because it provides names that are difficult to trace in contemporary Chinese sources). Al-Masa€™udi portrays the Indian Ocean as one mass of water comprising seven connected seas.
So people [of the Abyssinian sea] used stitching with fibers instead of the nails, and [the ships are] coated with grease and lime. Yet, as we now know, Abu Zayd and al-Masa€™udia€™s suggested route is unimaginable because small dhow planks could never have floated all the way from the Sea of China to the Pacific Ocean, through the straight of the Bering Sea and into the Arctic Ocean, down Norwegian Sea near Scandinavia, and then through the Strait of Gibraltar at Spain in order to finally enter the Mediterranean Sea. He conveyed the great diversity of Turkic peoples, including the distinction between sedentary and nomadic Turks.
He knows less of West Africa, though he names such contemporary states as Zagawa, Kawkaw and Ghana. Furthermore, there is to be found at the beginning of this book a description of the seas and continents, of lands inhabited and uninhabited, of the lives of foreign kings, their histories and those of all the different peoples.
It is a literary prize awarded every two years a€?for a work of excellence in literature and the humanities relating to the cultural heritage of Africa and the African diaspora.a€? Van Sertimaa€™s later compilation, African Presence in Early America, is considered a definitive work on the subject. The largest ships were over 400 feet long and 150 wide and were protected by a fleet of military vessels manned by over 20,000 soldiers. A second exploratory journey in 1498 was ill-fated and probably returned to England by 1500. Drake was the second European to successfully sail around the world, and achieved what Magellan did not -- he personally completed the entire trip (Magellan died in the Philippines). The establishment of these colonies resulted in a great wave of English settlers arriving in North America during the decade 1630-1640.
Quebec remained the only significant French land holding in North America, which was quickly engulfed by large numbers of English who founded and settled British Canada.
Thus, in seventy days Columbus completed an historic transatlantic voyage that eventually led to European settlement in what would later be called the New World. The term a€?Indiana€? was decried as a demeaning term, and Columbus was described as a slave trading, gold seeking, ego-maniac.
Later that day they would row to their ships, ColA?n taking his place on the Santa MarA­a, a slow but sturdy flagship no longer than five canoes. But even if they reached the Indies, how would they get back, since currents and winds all seemed to go one way? At least once he appeared in public wearing a Franciscan habit and the ordera€™s distinctive cord. Even when Columbus forcibly subjugated Hispaniola in 1495, he believed he was fulfilling a divine destiny for himself and for Aragon and Castile and for the holy church. Feverish and in deep despair, he wrote, a€?I dragged myself up the rigging to the height of the crowa€™s nest.a€¦ Still groaning, I lost consciousness.
Fearing his men would tell the story of the Spanish losses to the Spanish ships, in 1541 he turned westward into Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, then to the banks of the Mississippi River in present-day Mississippi where De Soto died if a high fever. There were two early forms, one a derivative of hieroglyphics in Egypt, and the other from the Phoenicians. Famed military heroes and kings of the polis from the Mycenaean Age were included as gods in the growing mythology of the Greek religion.
A two-tiered class system developed based upon onea€™s personal wealth, with the greatest power going to those at the top of the ladder; the lowest classes, however, were free from taxation.
When they arrived at the Hellespont, Xerxes filled the channel with ships and built bridges over the decks of the ships so that the men and supplies could pass over into Greece. He did not dismiss the Thespians because not trusting their loyalty, he wanted to keep his eye on them. Furthermore, the Athenians, Corinthians, and other Greek ships were highly motivated because they were fighting for the survival of Greece. Not only could the Persians not swim but their long robes became water-soaked causing most to drown.
Athens was viewed by many as the big, bad, prosperous wolf of Greece and potentially dangerous to the other city-states. His three principle featuring filial piety, he believed, would bring harmony and order to political, economic, and family life.
This meant that it was not to the gods or the elders that we should run when seeking answers but through contemplating about onea€™s life, about what produces good, harmony, and happiness in this life. From Socratea€™s death comes the expression, a€?Pick your poison.a€? He chose to drink a beverage made of a lethal poison, hemlock. The rightful goal of every person is to faithfully live out the role assigned to him by nature and should not seek to do any other business or seek another other role.
They probably would not believe him because what he saw and then reported to them would not necessarily conform to what they sightlessly imagined it to be.
Most of the Titans fought with Cronus against Zeus and were punished by being banished in defeat to Tartarus in the underworld.
This worked fine until Rhea, unhappy at the loss of her children, tricked Cronus into swallowing a rock, instead of the newborn Zeus. Herakles demands to know from Nereus, who is a living connection to the pre-Flood world, where he can find the enlightenment of the serpent.
He wondered how the Athenians, who had developed their special brand of democracy and produce philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, could fall for such pagan concepts of spirituality.
As she sat there on her stool, breathing in those toxic and perhaps hallucinogenic fumes, it was believed that she could predict the future. Rubbing his sleepy eyes, Epimenides said, a€?Now, turn the goats loose and allow them to graze wherever they choose. Third, in order to help us this unknown god or goddess must have the ability and power to actually do something about the plague.
In this way the two warring clans were related together in one confederacy by the presence of this one a€?peace child.
After the Ottomans failed in their 1683 attempt to conquer Vienna, Austria, Christian troops from Venice and Austria invaded Greece, attacked the Ottomans in Athens, and greatly weakened Ottoman rule in Greece, By the late 1700s, however, Ottoman rule was re established until the Greeks won their independence, region by region from the Ottomans. Documents, logs and maps were placed in royal archives and were available to the historians of the time, whereas knowledge of the mugharrirun and Khashkhash has come down to us only because of the chance interest of al-Idrisi and al-Masa€™udi. Each of these seas has its own name and features; the seventh of these lying at the easternmost end is the Sea of China. This proves, and God knows better, the connection of the seas, and that the sea near China and the country of Slid [Korea] goes all round the country of the Turks, and reaches the sea of the west [the Mediterranean?] through some straits of the encircling ocean. He noted their independent attitude, the absence of a strong central authority among them, and their paganism. If God gives me life, if He extends my days and grants me the favor of continuing in this world, I will follow this book with another, which will contain information and facts on all kinds of interesting subjects.
Four priests eventually volunteered to travel to China but soon returned to Rome after experiencing culture-shock along the Silk Road. Drake was also a major participant in the active slave trade in which England was a main competitor with the Spanish and Portuguese in the lucrative slave trade which dealt with not only African slaves, but also slaves taken from the Caribbean Islands. This is considered to be the first Christian victory over the Islamic Moors in Spain, in the long struggle called the Reconquista. How could the Spanish Catholic determine who truly converted and who did so outwardly simply to avoid emigration?
I heard a voice in pious accents saying, a€?O foolish man and slow to serve your God, the God of all! Church leaders began to identify this curse with skin color -- dark slaves taken from Africa. She was very interested in early explorers and told her children many of these stories over and over again.
Hence, with rumors of vast supplies of gold and silver in the New World, and even the possibility of reaching the Spice Islands from the opposite direction taken by the Portuguese had great promise. The Mycenaeans were adventurers, traveling to and trading with peoples in Anatolia, Europe, and throughout the Mediterranean.
It was a a€?limiteda€? democracy because it only allowed adult males (not women!) (1) to vote and hold office, (2) but only if they were born in the city of Athens, (3) and if they owned land. The teachera€™s role is to encourage that knowledge to come out by use of proper questions. Therefore, ethics is personal and autonomous (determined by onea€™s own thoughtful insight and not something received from others). We see the shadow of the Real Chair, the Real Tree, the Real Red Apple by looking at their shadows down here on earth. During their rule the Titans were associated with the various planets and their names remained attached to the planets when the Romans adopted much of Greek mythology.
Zeus revolted against Cronus and the other Titans, defeated them, and banished them to Tartarus in the underworld. While on his death bed, lying in a tent in Baghdad, his troops filed past in a huge procession to honor their great leader. Since it is early morning, none of the goats will normally lie down, but will eat their full after a night with no food. And fourth, this unknown god or goddess will understand that it is in ignorance that we do not know his or her name and will forgive us for our ignorance.a€? With those words, the sacrifices were offered up to the unknown god. Greek honor guards at the presidential palace today in Athens have 450 pleats in their native uniforms, signifying the 450 years that Greece was subjugated to the Ottoman Turks. It is probable, however, that they entered sailorsa€™ lore along the Atlantic seaboard and joined the tales of other fabulous islands to the west - the Antilles, Brazil, St.
This complete description of the Indian Oceana€™s seven seas supplements the missing part of the extant manuscript for the original volume of Accounts of China and India in 851. Did shipbuilders in the Mediterranean Sea build ships without using nails, consciously or unconsciously imitating dhows?
He was very well informed on Rus trade with the Byzantines and on the competence of the Rus in sailing merchant vessels and warships.
A present day analogy would be the use of the phrases a€?I am going Downtowna€? or a€?I am going into the Citya€? by those who live near say New York City, Chicago or London respectively.
Without limiting myself to any particular order or method of setting them down, I will include all sorts of useful information and curious tales, just as they spring to mind.
Van Sertima appeared before a Congressional Committee to challenge the a€?Columbus mytha€?. The continents of North and South America were so large almost anyone could land there sailing from Europe. Because of this the Athenians developed a€?overseasa€? colonies in order to grow wheat and other grains. To the women and to those who moved to Athens from other areas, this was hardly a democracy.
A soldier, Pheidippides, was sent running back to Athens, 26 miles to the south, to announce the good news of the victory. Zeus and his wife (first known as Dione and then Hera) are deifications of Adam and his wife Eve.a€? (Johnson, The Parthenon Code 2004, p. The New Testament was not written in Aramaic (the language of Jesus and the apostles) or in Latin (the language of the Roman conquerors) but was written in Greek, the most widely spoken language.
Although his biographer Ahmad Shboul questions the furthest extent sometimes asserted for al-Masa€™udia€™s travels, even his more conservative estimation is impressive: Al-Masa€™udia€™s travels actually occupied most of his life from at least 915 to very near the end. Lunde and Stone note that al-Masa€™udi in his Tanbih states that the revised edition of Muruj al-dhahab contained 365 chapters. We may never know the story, but we can understand from the passage how Aba Zayd and al-Masa€™udi understood the geography of the world during their time.
This work will be called The Reunion of the Assemblies, a collection of facts and stories mixed together, to provide a sequel to my earlier writings and to complement my other works. But to find his way back again to his home port in Spain -- that was a demonstration of his advanced sailing skills. From the hour of your birth he has always had a special care of you.a€™ a€? The voice continued at length and closed with a€?Be not afraid, but of good courage. He was nicknamed Henry the Navigator because when he became an influential prince, he spear headed the drive for Portugal to hit the seas and travel to Asia. They invaded south to Crete where a blending of the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures took place. Some historians state that the United States acquired its concept of democracy from Athens. His journeys took him to most of the Persian provinces, Armenia, Azerbaijan and other regions of the Caspian Sea; as well as to Arabia, Syria and Egypt. The area with its moderate climate was ideal, however, for the development of olive groves, vineyards, almonds, and apples. The Saducees were hellenized Jews, and thus denied the reality of the resurrection of the dead. He also travelled to the Indus Valley, and other parts of India, especially the western coast; and he voyaged more than once to East Africa.
The Spanish take credit for naming the Philippine Islands for Philip II of Spain, but their competitor, Portugal, claimed that they named the islands for Philippa, the mother of Henry the Navigator. In his honor and memory (his kleos) the Greeks established the marathon of 26 miles, exactly the distance of the modern marathon race. Kronos (Chronos), the father of time in Greek mythology, a€?could very well be,a€? says Johnson, a€?Greek religiona€™s equivalent of Yahweh, the Lord of Tome. They constructed gymnasiums and athletic stadiums in Palestine, to the horror of the traditional and legalistic Pharisees. Lunde and Stone in the introduction to their English translation state that al-Masa€™udi received much information on China from Abu Zaid al-Sirafi whom he met on the coast of the Persian Gulf. In Syria al-Masa€™udi met the renowned Leo of Tripoli who was a Byzantine admiral who converted to Islam.
In Egypt he found a copy of a Frankish king list from Clovis to Louis IV that had been written by an Andalusian bishop.



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