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Nancy Huang

Period 1
Primary Sources Analysis Project
Document 1

1) Title: Pope Urban II's Call to the First Crusade

2) Document Type: Transcription and commentary of a speech from 1095 CE

3) Author: Robert the Monk

4) Purpose: To incite the people of France to embark on Crusade

5) Audience: People of France, able-bodied fighting men

6) Historical setting: At this point in the history of Western Europe, Muslims have control over Jerusalem, a city
sacred to both Islam and Christianity. Also, religious and military reformation and successes give energy for
expansion and recapturing of Byzantine lands. Christian people are ready to turn outwards for conquest in order
to supply resources for their growing population.

7) POV: The pope served Emperor Alexus I, who wanted to reclaim Jerusalem for the Christian empire. The pope,
head of the Catholic church, also had sufficient motivation to propagate embarking on the Crusades in order to
expand the influence of Catholic Christianity and sufficiently do holy deeds.

8) Key Themes:

Social and Political. The obligation of the people of France to recapture Jerusalem due to its superiority in the
eyes of God.

⋅ "Oh, race of Franks, race beyond the mountains, race beloved and chosen by God (as is clear from
many of your works), set apart from all other nations by the situation of your country, as well as by
your Catholic faith and the honor you render to the Catholic church."

⋅ "On whom, therefore, rests the labor of avenging these wrongs and of recovering this territory, if not
upon you-- you, upon whom, above all other nations, God has conferred remarkable glory in arms,
great courage, bodily activity, and strength to humble the heads of those who resist you?"

⋅ "From you especially she asks succor, because, as we have already said, God has conferred upon you,
above all other nations, great glory in arms."

Social. Continuing the French legacy

⋅ "Let the deeds of your ancestors encourage you and incited your minds to manly achievements-- the
glory and greatness of King Charlemagne and his son Louis, and of your other monarchs who have
destroyed the kingdoms of the Turks and have extended the sway of the holy Church over lands
previously pagan."

⋅ "Oh most valiant soldiers and descendants of invincible ancestors, do not degenerate, but recall the
valor of your ancestors."

Social and political. Liberation of Jerusalem from the Muslims, who are base and evil

⋅ "...from the city of Constantinople a grievous report has gone forth... namely, that a race from the
kingdom of the Persians, an accursed race, a race wholly alienated from God, 'a generation that set not
their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God," ha s violently invaded the lands of
those Christians..."

⋅ "Let the holy sepulcher of our Lord and Saviour, which is possessed by the unclean nations especially
arouse you, and the holy places which are now treated with ignominy and irreverently polluted with
the filth of the unclean."
Document 1

⋅ "She seeks, therefore, and desires to be liberated, and ceases not to implore you to come to her aid."

Social. Serving and pleasing God through Crusade

⋅ "But it you are hindered by love of children, parents, or wife, remember what the Lord says in the
Gospel, 'He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.' 'Everyone that hath
forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my
name's sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life.'"

⋅ "Accordingly, undertake this journey eagerly for the remission of your sins, with the assurance of the
reward of imperishable glory in the kingdom of heaven."

⋅ "Whoever, therefore, shall decide upon this holy pilgrimage, and shall make his vow to God to that
effect, and shall offer himself to Him for sacrifice, as a living victim, holy and acceptable to God...
thus shall ye... fulfill the precept of the Lord, as He commands in the Gospel..."

Economic. The pope briefly mentions the need for more land in order to support the growing population.

9) What does the document show about the region(s) covered by the document? The people of France believe
they are superior to other nations because they are Christian. They perhaps do not know much about the world
outside Christian Europe, since they also believe the pope when he calls them superior fighters, when the
Islamic and Chinese empires have developed elaborate defense systems and tactics.

10) What did you learn about the region or people in the document? Although the French and the whole of
western Europe is relatively backwards in political development, economic prosperity, and cultural richness and
collective intelligence, the French truly believe in the greatness of their people and empire, and believe that they
have made advances as humans that far surpass the others.
Document 2

1) Title: Letter from Antioch

2) Document Type: Letter to wife and family while away on Crusades, written around 1097 CE

3) Author: Count Stephen of Blois

4) Purpose: To inform loved ones about the progress made against the Islamic armies in capturing lands of
religious value to the people of France and western Europe.

5) Audience: Wife and children

6) Historical Setting: The Turkish city of Antioch was one of the main targets of the First Crusade, which was
mostly a series of successful conquests and battles for the European crusaders. Although winning many battles,
the Europeans were also losing many men and suffering from lack of resources.

7) POV: The man writing the letter is a husband and father, and would likely wish to send comfort and
reassurance to his family and would not go into great detail about the hardships and dangers of his journey. He
is also unlikely to complain of having no motivation to fight, as many people in that time were eager to have
their sins forgiven, to glorify God, or to plunder for wealth. As a Crusader, Stephen would have no sympathy
for the Turks and would believe that sacking the cities were righteous and holy actions.

8) Key themes:

⋅ Social. Count Stephen's account of the dying shows that no matter what their obstacles, the Crusaders
believed they were honorably suffering for God.

⋅ Political. The Crusaders successfully conquered Turkish cities using their military. "And in all these
seven battles, by the aid of the Lord God, we conquered and most assuredly killed an innumerable host
of them." The reason given for "continuously advancing for twenty-three weeks toward the home of
our Lord Jesus" had been primarily religious and was able to amass hundreds of fighters.

⋅ Social. People on Crusade wholly believed God's grace had aided the fighters during the battles.
Stephen of Blois calls his army "...the chosen army of Christ, endowed with great valor by Him."When
in battle and seemingly outnumbered, "... we fought with the fiercest courage, under the leadership of
Christ." And when the Turks surprise the Crusaders at the Iron Bridge, "God, however, fought for us,
His faithful, against them. For on that day, fighting in the strength that God gives, we conquered them
and killed an innumerable multitude-- God continually fighting for us..."

⋅ Political. The Crusades were able to achieve peace with some Middle Eastern kingdoms, such as with
the emperor of Babylon, who negotiated peace with the Crusaders.

⋅ Geographic. In contrast the assumption that Syria was a cold region, Count Stephen of Blois
discovered that the winter climate was similar to that in his homeland.

9) What does document show about the region(s) covered? The Turkish armies fell to the Christian peoples.
The onslaught of warfare, from the Christian crusader's perspective, completely God-willed.

10) What did you learn about the region that you didn't already know? Although historians often tell of
incredible hardships and sufferings along the way, Count Stephen does not assume a complaining tone in his
letter, although this may be due to consideration and concern for his wife and children. Any suffering that was
inflicted on the people were received as trips to paradise in Heaven.
Document 3

1) Title: Cosmopolitanism in the Rihla of Ibn Battuta

2) Document Type: Collection of quotes from 1325-1368 CE from dictation of spoken word

3) Author: Ibn Juzayy, a scholar who compiled the journal entries of Ibn Battuta

4) Purpose: To record the travels and adventures of 29 years

5) Audience: Sultan of Morocco

6) Historical Setting: The Mongols have established a huge empire and have dominance in the Middle East. Since
the Mongols encouraged cultural diversity, the Muslim way of life has gone relatively unchanged. The vastness
of the Mongol Empire probably encouraged travel, since there was political unity between huge masses of land

7) Point of View: The chronicle of Ibn Battuta's voyages was ordered by the Sultan of Morocco as Ibn Battuta
neared death. As a young man on Hajj, Ibn Battuta would have been partial to the Muslims he encountered. He
also would have been more impressed by Muslim piety than by someone of another religion. He also would
have understood and approved of Muslim customs such as praying five times a day. Also, as a Muslim, Ibn
Battuta may have received more welcome and courtesy than people of other religions, even though they were
protected as dhimmi.

8) Key themes:

⋅ Social. Ibn Battuta reveals Muslims to be pleasant and hospitable to strangers and travelers. People of
law and high status prayed together, and welcomed new acquaintances to pray alongside them. The
Muslim people were used to travel and foreigners who came to learn and worship from various native

⋅ Social. Unity and consistency is found when everywhere under Muslim influence that Ibn Battuta
visited through the hospitality of the people and the insistence on daily prayer. This also demonstrates
the freedom admitted by the Mongols for cultural continuity.

⋅ Economic. Elaborate Muslim architecture, abundance of wealthy merchants, and ample supplies along
the road demonstrate the economic prosperity still enjoyed by the Muslims.

⋅ Geographic and Technological. The travels of Ibn Battuta demonstrate the extent to which people of
privilege could have travelled even before the invention of steam boats.

⋅ Social and Geographic. The extent of the Islamic Empire unified the people through culture. For
example, the Sultan in East Africa was able to speak Arabic and thus communicate with another
member of the Muslim faith, even though their places of birth and origin were separated by thousands
of miles.

9) What does the document show about the regions covered? Travel in the Muslim empire was facilitated by
many checkpoints along the road that provided comfortable shelter. People within the Muslim world were
homogenized through language and faith, and so a general sense of welcoming greeted a Muslim on hajj.

10) What did you learn about the regions? Muslims were friendly and welcoming at Ibn Battuta's time, used
to travelers and foreigners who arrived for religious and spiritual growth.
Document 4

1) Title: Account of Mansa Musa

2) Document type: Description and report, written sometime after 1324

3) Author: al-Umari

4) Purpose: To record a historical event

5) Audience: Historians

6) Historical setting: Mansa Musa visited Cairo several years previous to the writing of the document, making a
huge impression on the population with his lavish way of travel and his benevolence.

7) Point of View: Amir Hajib, As a historian and scholar, heard from others

8) Key themes:

⋅ Social. Mansa Musa on hajj was distinguished by his style of dress and his method of transportation.
The social status of the cavaliers were also delineated by clothing and were awarded based on merit
and performance. This probably meant that the Malinke people had cultural ethics and morals. Mansa
Musa also was known to have kept his distance from other people, despite his courteousness, by eating
alone and addressing strangers only through interpreters despite his own fluency in their language.

⋅ Economic. Mansa Musa travels with slaves, precious metals, expensive fabrics, costly horses, and
musicians, luxuries unlikely to be afforded by many people at the time, or even in modern times. The
state of the King of Mali indicated the prosperity of his kingdom.

⋅ Economic. The Mali kingdom has a truce with the "gold-plant people, who pay him tribute" in the crop
of gold, which was highly valued by Mansa Musa.

⋅ Political, Social and Economic. Mansa Musa's kingdom consists of "conquered twenty-four cities
each with its surrounding district with villages and estates. It is a country rich in livestock-- cattle,
sheep, goats, horses, mules-- and different kinds of poultry... The inhabitants of his country are
numerous, a vast concourse..."

⋅ Social and Political. Mansa Musa demonstrated the applicability of Muslim law on all people,
including the king himself, when he ceased accepting concubines when told that this was against the
written word.

⋅ Economic. Along his hajj, Mansa Musa donated amply and gave loads of gold to tribes and even
honestly dealt with merchants in Egypt when he found himself short of gold.

⋅ Political. Mansa Musa was willing to bow before the sultan, which brought him into the ruler's favor
and scored him gifts.

⋅ Economic and Social. On the way of the pilgrimage, the Cairo peoples cheated the trusting Malinke
people who had insufficient knowledge of the quality of the items being vended and were willing to
overpay without their knowledge. Later, the Malinke people discovered what had happened and
formed a stereotypical opinion of Cairo merchants.

9) What does the document show about the regions covered? The leaders commanded obedience, respect, and
vast amounts of wealth that they spent on their whim without much dissent from the people they ruled.
10) What did you learn about the regions? The people on the two sides of the Sahara had little interaction
prior to Mansa Musa's hajj and so both cultures held each other in wonderment as the southern Africans
travelled through North African and Mediterranean territory.
Document 5

1) Title: The Travels of Marco Polo

2) Type of Document: A book that recounts travels and experiences of 1275-1292, published c.1300

3) Author: Marco Polo

4) Purpose: To inform people who have never been abroad of the urban areas in China

5) Audience: Westerners

6) Historical Setting: The Mongols have taken over China.

7) POV: Marco Polo would have had a learned and wide-ranging repertoire of global knowledge and experiences.
As a European, he would have been fascinated and awed by the Asian accomplishments, having grown up
around European architecture and intellect.

8) Key themes:

⋅ Social and Economic. The people in the city of Kinsay were organized into vast guilds that regulated
supply and quality. The merchants were very wealthy, believed by Marco Polo to be extensively more
wealthy than people in the Byzantine empire and Europe.

⋅ Social and Economic. The beauty of the city was enhanced by the architectural accomplishments, such
as the many elaborate palaces that surrounded a clear, giant lake in the city.

⋅ Social. Marco Polo noted a general courtesy and loveliness of the people, who were both attractive
both in appearance and manner. An example of the enchantment of the Chinese people were the
wealthy women who fascinated strangers with their conversation and elaborate clothing.

⋅ Technological. The city possessed numerous examples of infrastructure, such as the paved roads that
allowed "travel in any direction without inconvenience", the thousands of bridges, the canals and
rivers, and the giant baths.

⋅ Economic. Marco Polo witness great prosperity among the population through trade and imprts, and
the people used paper money. Even the markets are organized.

⋅ Political. Marco Polo was impressed by the effectiveness of the administration and infrastructure, such
as the guards on all twelve thousand bridges to monitor the safety of the people at night and the fair
and orderly way suspected criminals are dealt with. The people help with the census and regulation of
the city by writing their names on their doors.

9) What does the document show about the regions covered? Chinese cities were able to reach prosperity
unheard of in some other regions. Under both Chinese and Mongol administration, Chinese urban areas
exhibited more wealth per capita, greater architectural achievement, and more efficient legal management than
those in Marco Polo's home country. Europeans probably did not know much of eastern culture and way of life,
and this attributed to the tone of awe and excitement in Polo's writings. The people do not know much of each
other besides probably any example of long-distance merchants.

10) What did you learn about the regions? The Chinese people lived in prosperity but still resented their
Mongol overlords but did not have much military skill or experience.
Document 6

1) Title: Zheng He's Inscription

2) Type of Document: Stone inscription in a temple, written 1431 CE

3) Author: Zheng He (Cheng Ho)

4) Purpose: To honor the sea goddess Tianfei in thanksgiving for safe sea voyages by recording her deeds and
favors in stone.

5) Audience: The goddess, people who come to worship

6) Historical Setting: The eunuch of Ming emperor Zhu Di had embarked on travels to "barbarian" lands such as
Java, Calicut, and Siam in order to obtain a tribute relationship with the un-Chinese kingdoms. After many close
brushes with disaster, Cheng Ho decides to erect a temple in Nanking in honor of the Tianfei, whose influence
and partiality he believed was responsible for his great success.

7) Point of View: The author feels grateful for his success, having noted the many moments in which his fleet
could have been killed or captured. His obligations lie with the emperor Chu Ti and establishing a Chinese-
dominant relationship with the small surrounding Asian kingdoms. Cheng Ho is also responsible for the welfare
of a massive amount of boats and treasures, and so is obligated to venerate the sea goddess in order to preserve
his fleet. The author is religious and faithful, and truly believes that it was divine will that allowed him to
succeed on his voyages.

8) Key Themes:

⋅ Social. With each success, the Chinese fleet attributes the results to the benevolent intervening of the
goddess in favor of Cheng Ho's fleet. "In the midst of rushing waters it happened that, when there was
a hurricane, suddenly there was a divine lantern shining in the mast, and as soon as this miraculous
light appeared the danger was appeased, so that even in the danger of capsizing one felt reassured that
there was no cause for fear."Also, when "...the sea route was cleansed and pacified and the natives put
their trust in it," Zheng He immediately states that "All this was due to the favours of the goddess."

⋅ Political. The Chinese had superior military skills. "...the pirate Chen Zuyi had gathered his followers
in country of Sanfoqi...when he also advanced to resist our fleet, supernatural soldiers secretly came to
the rescue so that after one beating of the drum he was annihilated." The Chinese visited the other
countries not just for economic relations but for political dominance. "We went thither with the official
troups under our command... and owing the silent aid of the goddess we captured the false king alive."

Social. Zheng He was concerned with respect due to the superior Chinese empire from the people of
Chung Ho's voyages. "Its king Yalieknuaier was guilty of a gross lack of respect...and thereupon that
king was captured alive. In the ninth year on our return the king was present (to the throne)(as a
prisoner)..." The Chinese believed that they brought a blessing on the kingdoms the subjugated simply
by revealing their culture to them. "The Emperor, approving of their loyalty and sincerity, has ordered
us... to go and confer presents on them in order to make manifest the transforming power of the
imperial virtue..."

⋅ Geographic and Political. The Chinese successfully established tribute relationships with the other
Asian countries. "...the barbarians from beyond the seas, though their countries are truly distant, "with
double translation" have come to audience bearing precious objects and presents."

⋅ Social and Political. According to Zheng He, the people the Chinese encountered lacked political
security. "When we arrived in the distant countries we captured alive those of the native kings who
were not respectful and exterminated those barbarian robbers who were engaged in piracy, so that the
sea route was cleansed..."
Document 6

9) What does the document show about the regions covered by the document? The Chinese had a superior,
ethnocentric view of their own society in comparison with the neighboring Asian islands and countries. The
Chinese were also superior in technology and organization to the Asian countries, able to easily capture and
subdue the other kings.

10) What did you learn about the region or people in the document that you didn't already know? The
Chinese devotion and veneration of their deity, one of many in a pantheon, was very similar to the way
Christian Crusaders believed their military success and good fortune was due to the help of supernatural
powers. They refer to and give thanks to their god/goddess in the same way.
Document 7

1) Title: The Secret History of the Mongols

2) Document Type: Written historic account (slightly folkloric), written c. 1227

3) Author: Unknown Mongolian

4) Purpose: To tell the story of Chinggis Khan

5) Audience: Mongolians

6) Historical Setting: Chinggis Khan has recently died, leaving behind a Mongol-dominated territory extending
from China to Persia to south Russia. The Mongol conquest has reorganized much of Eurasia politically and has
become or will soon become the largest land-based empire in history. Written Mongol language has also been
devised, meaning the Mongol stories will be recorded in writing instead of orally from a Mongol perspective for
perhaps the first time.

7) Point of View: The Mongolian author has bias for the Mongol leader, and has no prejudice against Chinggis
Khan as a barbarian coming to take away civilized lands through brute warfare. However, since the author may
not have had direct contact with the khagan and would have liked to glorify the actions of the Mongol people,
the author might have taken some myths and legends and recorded them as fact.

8) Key themes:

⋅ Social. The nomadic people separated themselves from the sedentary people, identified as "those who
have doors of boards [on their tents]."

⋅ Social and Political. Under Chinggis Khan's leadership, the Mongols successfully conquered the Kitad
and the Tangut, slaying the Kitad "till they stood [as] rotten trees." The Mongols were savage and
merciless in fighting and slaughtering. The Mongols were even able to stomach eating "the flesh of
men" when their armies ran short of supplies. This would have been a vast difference in taste than from
the "civilized" European Crusaders, who took to looting and pillaging instead of directly eating the
people themselves.

⋅ Political. Chinggis Khan set a system of law and punishment and judgment over his kingdom.
Mongols were ruled by a system of qans which was inherited through the will of the previous qan and
possibly by family relations.

⋅ Social and Political. The war-like Mongols did not cease to conquer other lands even when there was
a change in power. The entire Mongol culture was probably centered on warfare, since the two leaders
encompassed in the document both lead their people into war.

⋅ Social. The Mongols had morals, as demonstrated by discouragement of liars and thieves. They also
took vengeance against disgraces and insults, such as slaying the entire Kitad population in return for
their mistreatment of Chinggis Khan's ambassadors.

9) What does the document show about the regions covered? The Mongols definitely had some form of
organized government, as shown by the political title and decree of laws and order for obedience by Chinggis
Khan. Order and organization was also demonstrated by the relatively smooth leadership transition between
Chinggis Khan and his son Ogedei. When the Mongols fought and conquered territories, they tended to be
indiscriminate in those whom they killed and decimated entire populations.

10) What did you learn about the region or people in the document that you didn't already know? The
Mongols turned to cannibalism when they ran short of food. Ogedei, before declaring war, was rational enough
to first seek council with his older brother in private.
Document 8

1) Title: From the Chronicle of Jean de Venette

2) Type of Document: Analysis of events, 1348

3) Author: Jean de Venette

4) Purpose: To record and comment on recent happenings

5) Audience: People who want to learn about history

6) Historical Setting: Following a famine and a war in France, the black plague has ravaged the global
community and severely cut down on the population. Explanations and justifications for the epidemic were
mostly given supernatural credit.

7) Point of View: Jean de Venette was a friar who sympathized with peasants. As a master of theology, de Venette
would have had a respectable and learned perspective on the cause of the Black Death, unlike his contemporary
common peoples, who were burning Jews out of spite and convincing themselves that the world had begun
anew, views that to a modern perspective would seem irrational. The friar, by temperament and teaching, is less
likely to jump to rash accusations and conclusions without first rational thought, careful observation, and deep
reflection on Christian theology. Thus, Jean de Venette provides a coherent and impartial take on the Black

8) Key themes:

⋅ Political. The outcome of plague has "stirred up wars by land and sea" between France and other

⋅ Economic. Venette reveals that the state of food supply was in "great abundance" at the time of
pestilence. Afterwards, the lack of people allowed individuals to acquire greater areas of property.
Despite this, the economy has weakened so that all goods have doubled in prices, almsgiving has
diminished, and financial lawsuits have increased in frequency.

⋅ Social. Due to the plague, many people have taken to blaming and burning Jews, who are seen as
responsible for infecting the air and water in order to contaminate the Christians.

⋅ Social. The predominant religious focus of peoples' lives results in many theories based on divine will
and supernatural explanations. The numerous deaths are, "...as some men say, a sign that the death of
infinite numbers of people, and their replacement by those who survived, has somehow renewed the
world and initiated a new age," rather than the result of poor hygiene and congested urban areas.

⋅ Social. Jean de Venette discusses the social consequences of the plague. He laments that "... the world,
alas has not been made any better by its renewal. For after the plague men became more miserly and
grasping, although many owned more than they had before." Education has also declined, which has
lead to a predominance of ignorance. The plague perhaps helped create a medieval "spirit" that was
pessimistic and selfish, unlike the expansionist spirit of the Renaissance.

9) What does the document show about the regions covered? The people of medieval France are highly
superstitious but do not have strong, long-lasting morals concerning their neighbors. People live in enough
poverty to mainly look out for themselves.

10) What did you learn about the region or people in the document that you didn't already know? The
dying people were happy to die due to their faith in salvation after death, although those who remained were
negatively affected. Also, the plague caused mutations in newborns.
Document 9

1) Title: An Arab Doctor's Medical Perspective on the Black Death

2) Document type: Essay, written around 1348

3) Author: Unspecified Arab doctor

4) Purpose: To prove the existence of infection

5) Audience: Muslims

6) Historical Setting: The document must have been written after the Black Death, a huge plague that decimated
one-third of the population and severely reoriented Medieval life. The multitude of deaths caused a frantic need
for explanations for the plague, and the predominant religious focus of the people and the fact that many
medical doctors could not cure contaminated people inevitably led to supernatural and mystical explanations.
The majority of the people who died were those in concentrated urban areas.

7) Point of View: An Arab doctor must be able to draw conclusions that accord with both the Quran and logical,
scientific experimental proof. Unlike a priest or a merchant, a doctor has an especial obligation to pay attention
to real-world, objective facts to explain worldly phenomena rather than relying solely on theology and holy text.

8) Key Themes:

⋅ Social. The author must overcome traditional interpretation of "the revealed word" in order to prove
the existence of infection. "If one asks, 'How can you admit the assertion, there is infection, when the
revealed work denies this?' we answer: that infection exists, is confirmed by experience, research,
insight and observation and through constantly recurring accounts."

⋅ Social. Undeniable occurances such as the Black Death forced people who were both religious and
logical to reinterpret long-held beliefs and justify their findings using new analysis of fundamental

⋅ Social. The author cites the Quran, at first said to deny contagions, to justify his claim of the existence
of infections. "There are numerous compassionate passages in revealed scripture, for example, the
utterance of the Prophet; 'an owner of sick animals should not drive these to the owner of healthy
animals.'" Science and religion contradict each other, forcing Muslim scientists to interpret the Quran
more loosely than a conservative Muslim.

⋅ Geographic. The open air and way of life in North Africa allowed less people to be infected since the
transmitting of the disease was more difficult in areas with lower population density.

⋅ Demographic. The movement of people to foreign lands caused the vast spreading of the plague, as
proven by the fact that a healthy community will suddenly fall ill after being visited by neighbors and

9) What does the document show about the regions covered? Urban areas were more severely affected by the
Black Death. People escaped the Black Death by putting themselves in isolation from the rest of the city and
walling up their homes and stocking up on provisions. People interacted enough so that the plague was rampant
and the illness was easily and quickly transmitted.

10) What did you learned? Muslim texts could literally be interpreted to deny the existence of infectious
diseases. Some people did successfully realized what was causing all the deaths and were able to take
precautions to save themselves from infection. Among the people dying in urban areas, the author reports of
places known to have escaped the plague, such as areas "which lie remote from highways and traffic".
Document 10

1) Title: History of the Fall of Jerusalem

2) Document type: Chronicle of Saladin's deeds

3) Author: Imad ad-Din

4) Purpose: To celebrate Saladin's actions

5) Audience: Other Muslims

6) Historical setting: Saladin, or Salah al-Din Yusuf, was a Muslim military leader who recaptured Jerusalem and
reunited much of the fragmented and declining Muslim world, which currently held deep tensions with the
Christians over possession of holy relics and land areas. Both societies viewed each other as backwards,
primitive, and sacrilegious and were eager to decimate each other using military force.

7) Point of View: Imad ad-Din was the secretary and a biographer of Saladin, a Muslim conqueror of lands
formerly of the Islamic empire and taken by the Crusaders. As a Muslim under Saladin's pay, Imad ad-Din
would have glorified Muslim actions, especially those of Saladin himself. He also would have written to shame
and demean the Crusaders, possibly recording false facts or exaggerating details.

8) Key Themes:

⋅ Political. The Christians and Muslims were at war over Jerusalem and the relics that resided in the
Middle East.

⋅ Social and Economic. Christians had little respect for Muslim sacred items, demonstrated by their
defacement of the Rock for financial gain.

⋅ Social. The Christians established huge emotional attachment to the "True Cross" and worshipped its
image and idolized it enough so that, according to ad-Din, when news of its capture spread throughout
the Christian army the soldiers lost heart and were easily slaughtered. The author calls all the beliefs
and convictions Christians held about the Holy Sepulcher to be "errors on the object of their cult."
Imad ad-Din deemed all the Christian Crusaders as misguided and foolish in their belief that death on
Crusade meant automatic forgiveness of sins and access to Heaven.

⋅ Social. Both the Muslims and Christians possessed "cult" items, such as the Rock and the True Cross,
respectively. Like in previous documents in which the Muslims are regarded as abusers of faith and
religion, Ibn ad-Din referred to Christians as people who were "wandering with false beliefs far from
the true forms of faith."

⋅ Social. Imad ad-Din mentioned two types of women who came from France and interacted with
Muslim men. The first group were the three hundred prostitutes and the second were the women in the
Christian army. He refers to women as lesser and weaker than men, and women in the army must
pretend to act manly in order to fight instead of being proud of their gender.

⋅ Social, Economic, and Political. After fighting, the Christians and Muslims established a truce which
allowed Christians to stay in the holy land after paying a tax and providing labor to the Muslims in
exchange for military protection.

9) What does the document show about the regions covered? The Muslims and the Christians both referred to
each other as people "filth" and "hellish" upbringing.

10) What did you learn? French prostitutes at one point came to Muslim shores. Though scorned for their
sinfulness and lust, Imad ad-Din did not deny their physical appeal, and so perhaps Europeans were not seen as
inferior in all things, only those of the spirit and the mind.

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