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Germany. The Emperor Frederick II. wears the three crowns of Germany, Italy, and Sicily, but is engaged in many contentions ; and after his death in 1250 the empire ceases to be the leading power of Europe. The third quarter of this century is a time of great confusion in Germany.
The kingdom of France increases in strength during this century at the expense of the German Empire and of the English possessions, and is rapidly becoming one of the leading powers of Europe.
England loses a large part of its possessions on the Continent. Wales is united to England.
The Eastern Empire, near the beginning of this century, falls into the hands of the Crusaders or Latin princes, but later, in 1261, the old Greek Empire is restored in a measure.
Spain. The Mahometan power in Spain is reduced in this century to the single kingdom of Granada, the rest of the peninsula being held by the Christian kingdoms of Portugal, Castile And Leon, Aragon, and Navarre.
The Moguls, or Tartars, break loose from their ancient seats in the obscure regions of Asia, and under Genghis Khan overrun the greater part of Europe and Asia. They establish a powerful dynasty within the dominions of Russia, which greatly checks the progress of that country. In 1258 they take Bagdad, when the Abbassidian Caliphate of Bagdad comes to an end. They also seize the kingdom of Roum, overthrowing the power of the Seljuk Turks.
In Italy the cities continue as independent republics, but with a tendency towards consolidation into larger states. In this century Florence becomes one of the chief commonwealths.
Roum is seized by the Moguls, and the power of the Seljuk Turks overthrown. See under Moguls.
Seljuk Turks. See under Roum.
Russia. See above, under Moguls.
Portugal. See above, under Spain.
Castile. See above, under Spain.
Leon. See above, under Spain.
Aragon. See above, under Spain.
Navarre. See above, under Spain.
Caliphate Of Bagdad. Ended by the capture of Bagdad by the Moguls in 1258. See above, under Moguls.
Jerusalem. The Christian kingdom of Jerusalem comes to an end in 1291, passing into the hands of the Mahometans.
A.D. 1200-A. D. 1300.
1204. The Crusaders take Constantinople. Establishment of the Inquisition by Innocent III. English loss of Anjou, Normandy, etc., which pass into the hands of Philip Augustus of France.
1209. Crusade against the Albigenses (Simon de Montfort).
1209. The order of Franciscans founded. 1215. Magna Charta signed by King John.
The order of Dominicans founded. 1237. Origin of the kingdom of Granada.
1210. Origin of the Ottoman Turks.
1240 (about). Hanseatic League formed. 1256. The order of Augustines founded. 1253. Bagdad taken by the Moguls. End
of the Caliphate of Bagdad. 1261. The Greeks recover Constantinople. 1265. Beginning of English Parliament 1270. The last Crusade. 1282. The Sicilian Vespers. 1299. The Ottoman Turks invade Asia
Crusades. There are various Crusades (differently enumerated) during the century, the last being in 1270.
PROMINENT NAMES OF THE CENTURY.
Kings. — Philip II. (Augustus), St Louis IX.
Kings. — Henry III., Edward I.
Mooul (tartar) Empire. Khan. — Temujin (Genghis Khan).
Pope Innocent III., Matthew Paris, Alexander Hales (Irrefragable Doctor), St Thomas Aquinas (Angelic Doctor), Roger Bacon, Cimabue, John Duns Scotus, Dante, Giotto.
THE MOGUL EMPIRE. — GENGHIS KHAN.
Their number is so great as to seem to threaten mankind with destruction. — Matthew Paris.
ANEW power, the Moguls, a Turanian people (also called Tartars), now attacked both Asia and Europe. Under the famous Genghis Khan (reigned 1206-1227) and his successors, these wandering tribes of Asiatic savages poured from the depths of Asia, and carried on their ravages through the greater part of Asia and Europe, destroying hundreds of populous cities and several million lives. The Mogul Empire was of a temporary nature.
The character of the Moguls at this time is a strange compound. Among themselves they had made considerable approaches to order and civilization. They had an established government and recognized laws; they had also, what no Christian or Mahometan nation then had, perfect religious toleration. . . . Yet notwithstanding all this, in war they were perfect savages; barbarians is far too gentle a word. — Freeman.
The expectation of some great and terrible event prevailed all over the East. The Moguls had begun to quit the North, and were descending by degrees over the whole of Asia. These shepherds, dragging the nations along with them, and driving mankind before them together with their flocks, seemed bent on removing from the face of the earth every city, every building, every trace of cultivation, and on reconverting the globe into a desert, a free prairie, where one might henceforward wander without let or limit. They deliberated on treating the whole of Northern China on this fashion, and restoring that empire by the firing of some hundred cities, and the slaughter of several millions of men, to the primitive beauty of the solitudes of the early world. Where the destruction of the large cities would have been too troublesome, they indemnified themselves by the massacre of the inhabitants, — witness the pyramids of skulls which they reared in the plain of Bagdad. — Michelet.
Beyond the lands of the Saracens and of the Turks, lay the unknown regions of the Moguls. In the thirteenth century came their day of greatness, celebrated by the momentary existence of an empire far exceeding those of Macedonian, Roman, or Arab, and by the infliction of miseries on the human race compared to which the cruelties of all preceding conquerors might be deemed the height of mercy. Under Genghis Khan and his immediate successors, the Moguls ruled over nearly all Asia, save India and Arabia, and over no small portion of Europe. The same armies waged war in China, in Syria, and on the frontiers of Germany. And though this enormous dominion was transitory, they founded permanent dynasties in Persia and Russia, not to mention realms beyond our scope on the present occasion. — Freeman.
It was, therefore, the greatest tragedy which our historical knowledge records, when the highly cultivated Eastern world was devastated and destroyed forever, a few years after Saladin's triumphs, hy an overwhelming flood of barbarians. The savage Mongolian hordes swept down from their high central plains, laying waste and destroying, throughout Persia, Asia Minor, Turkistan, and Russia. It was no revivifying flood, like that which enriched the Roman soil when the Germans invaded it. Genghis Khan's hordes knew no joy beyond building huge heaps of the skulls of the slain, and marching their horses over the ruins of burnt cities. Wherever they passed, there was an end to all culture, to all the joys of life, and to the future prosperity of nations ; a dreary savage barbarism pressed upon countries which but a century before could have rivalled in civilization the very flower of Europe. — Von Sybel.
Erigat nos, mater, cceleste solatium, quia si proveniant ipsi, vel nos ipsos quos vocamus Tartaros ad suas Tartareas sedes, unde exierunt, retrudemus, vel ipsi nos omnes ad ccelum advehant.1 — Louis IX.
Down from the steppes of Tartary
The English barons in 1215 extorted from King John the Magna Charta (Great Charter), which embodied all the laws and rights which he had disregarded, with amplifications and numerous provisions for the liberties of the people.
Magna Charta is such a fellow that he will have no sovereign. — Kushworth.
It is the keystone of English liberty. All that has since been obtained is little more than a confirmation or commentary; and if every subsequent law were swept away there would still remain the bold features that distinguish a free from a despotic monarchy. — Hallam.
'T is the oppressions of William the Norman, savage forest-laws, and crushing despotism, that made possible the inspirations of Magna Charta under John. — Emerson.
Thus, after the contests of near a whole century, and those ever accompanied with violent jealousies, often with public convulsions, the Great Charter was finally established ; and the English nation
1 Their name of Tatar is said to have been changed into that of Tartar, in consequence of this reported exclamation of Louis IX.