Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Fariskur (1250)

Here is the eagerly (?) awaited conclusion to February’s story of the Seventh Crusade’s Battle of Mansurah. When last we left our plucky yet doomed Crusaders, under the command of the very willing but not really able Louis IX of France (d. 1270), they’d suffered a decisive defeat at Mansurah and were sent scrambling back across … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Fariskur (1250)

Today in South Asian history: the Battle of Diu (1509)

The appearance of Portuguese explorers in India in 1498 was, it's safe to say, a world-altering event. When Vasco da Gama proved that it was possible for European ocean-going vessels to reach India by going around Africa, it meant changes not only for Europe and India, but for the kingdoms in between, whose economies had … Continue reading Today in South Asian history: the Battle of Diu (1509)

Today in Middle Eastern History: the Battle of Ayn Jalut (1260)

In 1260, the Mongols were near the height of their power and reach, particularly in the Middle East. In less than 10 years, Mongol armies had stormed through Iran and Iraq, crushing the notorious “Assassins” sect and ending the Abbasid Caliphate in the process. They’d even invaded northern India several times but for multiple reasons—including that … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern History: the Battle of Ayn Jalut (1260)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Marj Dabiq (1516)

Once the Ottomans decisively eliminated any possible threat from the Safavids at the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514, they turned their attention to the Mamluks, who controlled Syria and Egypt. Not coincidentally, the Mamluks were at the same time preparing for a war with the Ottomans. The two empires were direct competitors when it came … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Marj Dabiq (1516)