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Early and medieval Christian literature: Eusebius and Epiphanius Scholasticus, in their Christian histories, place Saracens east of the Gulf of Aqaba but beyond the Roman province of Arabia and mention them as Ishmaelites through Kedar; thus, they are outside the promise given to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and also therefore, in Christian theology, beyond a privileged place in the family of nations or divine dispensation. The Jews viewed them as pagans and polytheists in ancient times and in later Christian times they became associated with cruel tyrants from early Christian history such as: Herod the Great, Herod Antipas and Agrippa I. Christian writings, such as those by Origen, viewed them as heretics who had to be brought into the orthodox fold. To the Christian Saint Jerome the Arabs, who were also considered in Christian theology as Ishmaelites, were also seen to fit the definition of Saracens; pagan tent-dwelling raiders of the lands on the eastern fringes of the Roman empire. -- The term Saracen carried the connotation of people living on the fringes of settled society, living off raids on towns and villages, and eventually became equated with both the "tent-dwelling" Bedouin as well as sedentary Arabs. Church writers of the period commonly describe Saracen raids on monasteries and their killing of monks. The term and the negative image of Saracens was in popular usage in both the Greek east as well as the Latin west throughout the Middle Ages. With the advent of Islam, in the Arabian peninsula, during the seventh century among the Arabs, the term's strong association with Arabs tied the term closely with not just race and culture, but also the religion. The rise of the Arab Empire and the ensuing hostility with the Byzantine Empire saw itself expressed as conflict between Islam and Christianity and the association of the term with Islam was further accentuated both during and after the Crusades. -- John of Damascus, in a polemical work typical of this attitude described the Saracens in the early 8th century thus: There is also the people-deceiving cult (threskeia) of the Ishmaelites, the forerunner of the Antichrist, which prevails until now. It derives from Ishmael, who was born to Abraham from Hagar, wherefore they are called Hagarenes and Ishmaelites. And they call them Saracens, inasmuch as they were sent away empty-handed by Sarah; for it was said to the angel by Hagar: "Sarah has sent me away empty-handed" (cf. Book of Genesis xxi. 10, 14). [article link]

The Dark Ages - Early Middle Ages (DVD $16.99) {In case you have ever wondered if Satan is raging a relentless war against the Christian Church and against mankind in general this History documentary will lay aside all doubts.}

Between the Fall of Rome and the dawn of the Renaissance, Europe plunged into a dark night of constant war, splintered sovereignties, marauding pagans, rabid crusaders and devastating plague. That anything of value arose from this chaotic muck - much less the Renaissance - is nothing short of miraculous. Through masterful cinematography and ground-breaking research, THE DARK AGES brings to life this amazing and mysterious time. Relive in striking detail critical turning points in the Early Middle Ages including the fall of Rome to the Visigoths, the horrors of Bubonic Plague, the rise of Charlemagne and the launching of the First Crusade. [article link]

The Dark Ages - Early Middle Ages (DVD $16.99) {In case you have ever wondered if Satan is raging a relentless war against the Christian Church and against mankind in general this History documentary will lay aside all doubts.}

Between the Fall of Rome and the dawn of the Renaissance, Europe plunged into a dark night of constant war, splintered sovereignties, marauding pagans, rabid crusaders and devastating plague. That anything of value arose from this chaotic muck - much less the Renaissance - is nothing short of miraculous. Through masterful cinematography and ground-breaking research, THE DARK AGES brings to life this amazing and mysterious time. Relive in striking detail critical turning points in the Early Middle Ages including the fall of Rome to the Visigoths, the horrors of Bubonic Plague, the rise of Charlemagne and the launching of the First Crusade. [article link]

Introduction [1 of 2] The High Middle Ages: The period of human history commonly referred to as the High Middle Ages (1000 A.D - 1300 A.D.) brings about two seemingly unrelated events, the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. and the Crusades of 1095 A.D. to 1270 A.D. - Events that have caused some of the most dramatic, functional, substantial and long standing changes known to mankind - And in all actuality the events of the aftermath of 1066 A.D. are the very rails that the train of human society currently rides upon and it is these same rails that are directing mankind into the very events of the End Times

Background: Going back one thousand years prior to 1066 A.D. brings us back to 66 A.D. and the very days of the foundation of the Christian Church especially among the Gentiles having just been laid by the Apostle Paul. With two notable exceptions [Roman Church and State - Charlemagne's designation of the Nations of Europe] not much had changed in the form of human history and human government but that was about to change in 1066 A.D. In the six global Gentile Kingdoms previous to 1066 A.D. all of the six Kingdoms [Nimrod, Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome] had similar rulers, venues and Characteristics yet the Bible (Daniel 7:23) tells of a 7th Kingdom the Kingdom of Antichrist a Kingdom that is vastly different from the 6 Kingdoms that preceded it. When and where these Satanically inspired changes would enter into human society would remain a secret that is until the events of 1066 A.D. unfolded. [article link]

Introduction [2 of 2] The High Middle Ages: The six Kingdoms prior to the coming Kingdom of Antichrist are all somewhat similar in that each King was head over their own society and also over the society of strangers. The six Kings were each stable functioning dignitaries, each married to at least on wife and each had at least one child to carry on their newly installed Dynasties. The unfortunate hallmark of each King's Dynasty is that what had started so wonderfully and had become so grandiose had in a relatively short time [usually within only a few generations or a few decades later] come crashing down into such a ruinous heap

For example what King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had so magnificently achieved in just a few decades his grandson Belshazzar quickly brought to ruins. What Alexander the Great had accomplished for Greece the later ruler Antiochus Epiphanies needlessly squandered. Likewise what Julius Caesar had accomplished for Rome the later Caesar Nero would bring to an almost complete disaster. - Being a citizen in each of the previous six Kingdoms (especially at the start) had many perks and benefits while it was the outsider that was alien and stranger to the benefits of the Kingdom and the outsider who endured the most risk. What was consistent for the previous six Kingdoms seems to be different (Daniel 11:37) for the last Kingdom, the Kingdom of Antichrist. The Kingdom of Antichrist apparently is going to be self-contained in that where previous Kingdoms disintegrated over time during the rule of multiple rulers the coming Kingdom of Antichrist will implode within itself within a very short period of time, out of necessity in that the ruler of the 7th Kingdom (Satan) is not out to benefit mankind. The seeds of the oppression and destruction of the 7th Kingdom have already been sown back in 1066 A.D. The drastic change that took place in 1066 A.D. was a shift in how the King saw his people, previous to 1066 A.D. the King sought in part to benefit the people but starting in 1066 A.D. the King universally began to seek primarily how the people could benefit the King. The English land census of 1086 A.D. was a complete change of how society would function, no longer would the people (citizens) have a meaningful place in society with the King at the top but the people all people (citizens and aliens) would be in question by the King and in fact as time would continue it would become better to be an alien to the Government rather than a citizen. [article link]

Wikipedia: Battle of Hastings 1066 A.D. - The Battle of Hastings occurred on 14 October 1066 A.D. during the Norman conquest of England, between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and the English army under King Harold II - It took place at Senlac Hill, approximately 10 km (61/4 miles) northwest of Hastings, close to the present-day town of Battle, East Sussex, and was a decisive Norman victory - Hastings is a town and borough in the county of East Sussex on the south coast of England - The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France - They were descended from Norse [Nordic - Scandinavia; Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland] Viking conquerors

King Harold II was killed in the battle-legend has it that he was shot through the eye with an arrow. He was the last English king to die in battle on English soil until Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field. The battle marked the last successful foreign invasion of the British Isles. Although there was further English resistance, this battle is seen as the point at which William gained control of England, becoming its first Norman ruler as King William I. The battle also established the superiority of the combined arms attack over an army predominately composed of infantry, demonstrating the effectiveness of archers, cavalry and infantry working cooperatively together. The dominance of cavalry forces over infantry would continue until the emergence of the longbow, and battles such as Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt in the Hundred Years War. The famous Bayeux Tapestry depicts the events before and during the battle. Battle Abbey marks the site where it is believed that the battle was fought. Founded by King William "the Conqueror" (as he became known), it serves as a memorial to the dead and may have been an act of penance for the bloodshed. The site is open to the public and is the location of annual re-enactments of the battle. -- The Battle of Hastings had a tremendous influence on the English language. The Normans were French-speaking, and as a result of their rule, they introduced many French words that started in the nobility and eventually became part of the English language itself. [article link]

Wikipedia: Normans - The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France - They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock - Their identity emerged initially in the first half of the 10th century, and gradually evolved over succeeding centuries

They played a major political, military, and cultural role in medieval Europe and even the Near East. They were famed for their martial spirit and eventually for their Christian piety. They quickly adopted the Romance language of the land they settled, their dialect becoming known as Norman or Norman-French, an important literary language. The Duchy of Normandy, which they formed by treaty with the French crown, was one of the great fiefs of medieval France. The Normans are famed both for their culture, such as their unique Romanesque architecture, and their musical traditions, as well as for their military accomplishments and innovations. Norman adventurers established a kingdom in Sicily and southern Italy by conquest, and a Norman expedition on behalf of their duke led to the Norman Conquest of England. Norman influence spread from these new centres to the Crusader States in the Near East, to Scotland and Wales in Great Britain, and to Ireland. ... In Byzantium: Soon after the Normans first began to enter Italy, they entered the Byzantine Empire, and then Armenia against the Pechenegs, Bulgars, and especially Seljuk Turks. The Norman mercenaries first encouraged to come to the south by the Lombards to act against the Byzantines soon fought in Byzantine service in Sicily. They were prominent alongside Varangian and Lombard contingents in the Sicilian campaign of George Maniaces of 1038-40. There is debate whether the Normans in Greek service were mostly or at all from Norman Italy, and it now seems likely only a few came from there. It is also unknown how many of the "Franks", as the Byzantines called them, were Normans and not other Frenchmen. One of the first Norman mercenaries to serve as a Byzantine general was Hervé in the 1050s. By then however, there were already Norman mercenaries serving as far away as Trebizond and Georgia. They were based at Malatya and Edessa, under the Byzantine duke of Antioch, Isaac Komnenos. In the 1060s, Robert Crispin led the Normans of Edessa against the Turks. Roussel de Bailleul even tried to carve out an independent state in Asia Minor with support from the local population, but he was stopped by the Byzantine general Alexius Komnenos. Some Normans joined Turkish forces to aid in the destruction of the Armenians vassal-states of Sassoun and Taron in far eastern Anatolia. Later, many took up service with the Armenian state further south in Cilicia and the Taurus Mountains. A Norman named Oursel led a force of "Franks" into the upper Euphrates valley in northern Syria. From 1073 to 1074, 8,000 of the 20,000 troops of the Armenian general Philaretus Brachamius were Normans - formerly of Oursel - led by Raimbaud. They even lent their ethnicity to the name of their castle: Afranji, meaning "Franks." The known trade between Amalfi and Antioch and between Bari and Tarsus may be related to the presence of Italo-Normans in those cities while Amalfi and Bari were under Norman rule in Italy. Several families of Byzantine Greece were of Norman mercenary origin during the period of the Comnenian Restoration, when Byzantine emperors were seeking out western European warriors. The Raoulii were descended from an Italo-Norman named Raoul, the Petraliphae were descended from a Pierre d'Aulps, and that group of Albanian clans known as the Maniakates were descended from Normans who served under George Maniaces in the Sicilian expedition of 1038 A.D. [article link]

Domesday Book - Important Facts about the Domesday Book of 1086 A.D. - What is the Domesday book? It was a survey, or census, commissioned by the Norman Conqueror King William I, of his newly conquered lands and possessions in England - It was intended to document "What, or how much, each man had, who was an occupier of land in England, either in land or in stock, and how much money it were worth" - This great survey enabled the Normans and William the Conqueror to administer England and levy taxes

The census and assessment proved of the highest importance to William the Conqueror and his successors. The people indeed said bitterly that the King kept the Doomsday, or Domesday book constantly by him, in order "that he might be able to see at any time of how much more wool the English flock would bear fleecing." The object of the Doomsday, or Domesday book, however, was not to extort money, but to present a full and exact report of the financial and military resources of the kingdom which might be directly available for revenue and defence. [article link]

Wikipedia: Domesday Book 1086 A.D. - The "Domesday Book" now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 - The survey was executed for William I of England (William the Conqueror): "While spending the Christmas of 1085 in Gloucester, William had deep speech with his counsellors and sent men all over England to each shire to find out what or how much each landholder had in land and livestock, and what it was worth" Anglo-Saxon Chronicle {Note: The required use of a family last name originates from the Norman King William I as a necessary part of the tracking and classification of the 1086 A.D. English land census for use in the accompanying Book of Doomsday. The census, system and cataloguing including a last name is in a sense the precursor of the modern census and SSN data system that we have today.}

One of the main purposes of the survey was to determine who held what and what taxes had been liable under Edward the Confessor; the judgment of the Domesday assessors was final-whatever the book said about who held the material wealth or what it was worth, was the law, and there was no appeal. It was written in Latin, although there were some vernacular words inserted for native terms with no previous Latin equivalent, and the text was highly abbreviated. Richard FitzNigel, writing around the year 1179, stated that the book was known by the English as "Domesday", that is the Day of Judgment "for as the sentence of that strict and terrible last account cannot be evaded by any skilful subterfuge, so when this book is appealed to ... its sentence cannot be put quashed or set aside with impunity. That is why we have called the book 'the Book of Judgment' ... because its decisions, like those of the Last Judgment, are unalterable." In August 2006 a limited online version of Domesday Book was made available by the United Kingdom's National Archives, charging users £2 per page to view the manuscript. In 2011, the Domesday Map site made the manuscript freely available for the first time. [article link]

Wikipedia: Family name, Last Name - In Ireland, the use of surnames have a very old history - Ireland was the first country in Europe to use fixed surnames - As noted in the Annals, the first recorded fixed surname was Ó Cleirigh which recorded the death of Tigherneach Ua Cleirigh, lord of Aidhne in Co. Galway in the year 916 A.D. - In England, the introduction of family names is generally attributed to the Normans and the Domesday Book of 1086 A.D.

In England, the introduction of family names is generally attributed to the Normans and the Domesday Book of 1086. Documents indicate that surnames were first adopted among the feudal nobility and gentry, and only slowly spread to the other parts of society. Some of the early Norman nobility arriving in England during the Norman Conquest differentiated themselves by affixing 'de' (of) in front of the name of their village in France. This is what is known as a territorial surname, a consequence of feudal landownership. In medieval times in France, such a name indicated lordship, or ownership, of the village. But some early Norman nobles in England chose to drop the French derivations and call themselves instead after their new English holdings. -- True surnames, in the sense of hereditary appellations, date in England from about the year 1000. Largely they were introduced from Normandy, although there are records of Saxon, surnames prior to the Norman Conquest. By the end of the twelfth century hereditary names had become common in England. But even as late as 1465 they were not universal. During the reign of Edward V (between April and June, 1483) a law was passed to compel certain Irish to adopt surnames as **a method to track and control them more: "They shall take unto them a Surname, either of some Town, or some Colour, as Black or Brown, or some Art or Science, as Smyth or Carpenter, or some Office, as Cooke or Butler." (ramsdale.org/surname.htm) [article link]

Wikipedia: The famous Bayeux Tapestry - The Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidered cloth (not an actual tapestry) nearly 70 metres (230 ft) long, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England concerning William, Duke of Normandy and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later King of England, and culminating in the Battle of Hastings - The tapestry consists of some fifty scenes with Latin tituli (captions), embroidered on linen with coloured woollen yarns - It is likely that it was commissioned by Bishop Odo, William's half-brother, and made in England in the 1070s - In 1729 the hanging was rediscovered by scholars at a time when it was being displayed annually in Bayeux Cathedral - The tapestry is now exhibited at Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in Bayeux, Normandy

Events depicted in the tapestry: The tapestry begins with a panel of Edward the Confessor sending Harold to Normandy. Later Norman sources say that the mission was for Harold to pledge loyalty to William but the tapestry does not suggest any specific purpose. By mischance, Harold arrives at the wrong location in France and is taken prisoner by Guy, Count of Ponthieu. After exchanges of messages borne by mounted messengers, Harold is released to William who then invites Harold to come on a campaign against Conan II, Duke of Brittany. On the way, just outside the monastery of Mont St. Michel, the army become mired in quicksand and Harold saves two Norman soldiers. William's army chases Conan from Dol de Bretagne to Rennes, and Conan finally surrenders at Dinan. William gives Harold arms and armour (possibly knighting him) and Harold takes an oath on saintly relics. Although the writing on the tapestry explicitly states an oath is taken there is no clue as to what is being promised. -- Harold leaves for home and meets again with the old king Edward, who appears to be remonstrating with him. Harold is in a somewhat submissive posture and seems to be in disgrace. However, possibly deliberately, the king's intentions are not made clear. The scene then shifts by about one year to when Edward has become mortally ill and the tapestry strongly suggests that, on his deathbed, he bequeaths the crown to Harold. What is probably the coronation ceremony is attended by Stigand, whose position as Archbishop of Canterbury was controversial. Stigand is performing a liturgical function, possibly not the crowning itself. The tapestry labels the celebrant as "Stigant Archieps" (Stigand the archbishop) although by that time he had been excommunicated by the papacy who considered his appointment unlawful. -- A star with a streaming tail then appears: Halley's Comet. Comets, in the beliefs of the Middle Ages, were a bad omen. At this point the lower border of the tapestry shows a fleet of ghost-like ships thus hinting at a future invasion. The news of Harold's coronation is taken to Normandy, whereupon we are told that William is ordering a fleet of ships to be built although it is Bishop Odo shown issuing the instructions. The invaders reach England, and land unopposed. William orders his men to find food, and a meal is cooked. A house is burnt, which may indicate some ravaging of the local countryside on the part of the invaders. News is brought to William. The Normans build a motte and bailey at Hastings to defend their position. Messengers are sent between the two armies, and William makes a speech to prepare his army for battle. -- The Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 less than three weeks after the Battle of Stamford Bridge but the tapestry does not provide this context. The English fight on foot behind a shield wall, whilst the Normans are on horses. Two fallen knights are named as Leofwine and Gyrth, Harold's brothers, but both armies are shown fighting bravely. Bishop Odo brandishes his baton or mace and rallies the Norman troops in battle. To reassure his knights that he is still alive and well, William raises his helmet to show his face. The battle becomes very bloody with troops being slaughtered and dismembered corpses littering the ground. King Harold is killed. This scene can be interpreted in different ways, as the name "Harold" appears above a number of knights, making it difficult to identify which character is Harold. The final remaining scene shows unarmoured English troops fleeing the battlefield. The last part of the tapestry is missing but it is thought that story never continued for very much further. [article link]

Wikipedia: Robin Hood - Robin Hood was a heroic outlaw in English folklore - A highly skilled archer and swordsman, he is known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor" assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men" - The idea of Robin Hood as a high-minded Saxon fighting Norman lords also originates in the 19th century - The 20th century grafted still further details on to the original legends. The 1938 film, The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, portrayed Robin as a hero on a national scale, leading the oppressed Saxons in revolt against their Norman overlords while Richard the Lionheart fought in the Crusades; this movie established itself so definitively that many studios resorted to movies about his son (invented for that purpose) rather than compete with the image of this one

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