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Back to Europe: A.D. 1001 to 1100

After an adequate horse collar was developed at some place and some time in this 12th century, plowing was done with horses, from the Ukraine to Normandy although the Mediterraneans still used oxen and lighter plows. Flax was grown all over Europe throughout the Middle Ages and was used not only for linen clothing but also for linseed oil, sails and cordage. (Ref. 213) The craze for spices was in full swing and the west gave up its precious metals in the difficult Middle East trade, which went on through to the Far East.

NOTE: Insert Map 41. Crusader States c.1140

Fireplaces were now set in walls whereas previously the round hearth in the center of the room had been used for cooking while braziers were used for warmth. The new system was acceptable for cooking but deplorable for heating for many centuries, awaiting technical improvements. Until the beginning of this century European clothing had remained almost identical with that of Roman times; long tunics falling straight to the floor for women and to the knees for men. Now the men's clothes were lengthened but even this change was minimal. The number of water wheels increased and their use was extended from simply grinding grain to iron works and other purposes. The transformation of windmills from the horizontal to the vertical position greatly increased their power and usefulness.

We mentioned in the last chapter that there was an urban renaissance in Europe. It became apparent in this 12th century that at least in many areas, particularly Italy, Flanders and Germany, that the cities were actually superior to the state, leading completely separate lives. (Ref. 260)

Southern europe

Eastern mediterranean islands

Crete remained basically under Byzantine control, although at the end of the century Genoese colonists had located at several points. During the 3rd Crusade Richard the Lion Hearted conquered Cyprus from Byzantium but the Eastern Empire retained control over Rhodes, the Cyclades and most of the other Aegean islands except for a period in the middle of the century when the Normans, under Roger II, temporarily took some areas. (Ref. 222)


The Norman, Roger of Sicily, profited by the 2nd Crusade in being able to seize many of the Greek Islands and attacked Athens, Thebes and Corinth. He went down into the Peloponnesus in 1147 and up the Aegean coast in 1185. Constantinople remained a city of splendor, but there were many wars and the Balkans broke free, so that there was eventually little left of the Byzantine Empire except Greece, itself.

Upper balkans

Hungary absorbed Dalmatia and after 1106 Croatia existed also under the Hungarian King Kalman. Secondary to the turmoil of the 1st Crusade the Byzantines did destroy the Patzinaks, who had finally been crowded into a small area just southwest of Hungary, but the territory was immediately taken over by the Cuman Turks. (Ref. 137) In 1124 Hungary's Stephen II was defeated by the temporarily resurgent Byzantine Emperor John II Comnenus, who prevented the Hungarians from keeping control of Dalmatia, Croatia and Serbia at that time. (Ref. 222) The Orthodox Church considered Islam as simply a Christian heresy and felt that there was little to choose between this and the Latin schismatic and often felt that the "Franks" were even more detestable enemies than the Moslems, for they insisted upon substituting their own creed and rites for Orthodoxy, whereas Moslem rulers allowed the Orthodox Church to manage its own affairs, subject only to payment of taxes and recognition of Moslem political supremacy. This fact did much to assure Turkish success in the Upper Balkans and helped to stabilize later Mongol power over the Russian principalities. (Ref. 139) This feeling was often reciprocated by the Western Church. Petrarch, for example, wrote: "The Turks are enemies, but the Greeks are schismatics and worse than enemies"

From A History of the Byzantine Empire , by A.D. Vasiliev, as quoted by McNeill (Ref. 139, page 514n)

Questions & Answers

Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
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Crow Reply
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RAW Reply
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Brian Reply
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Bob Reply
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The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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Damian Reply
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Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
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Source:  OpenStax, A comprehensive outline of world history. OpenStax CNX. Nov 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10595/1.3
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