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 riding as high as they’d been at any time since Genghis Khan’s death in 1215. In less than 10 years, their armies had stormed through Iran and Iraq, crushing the notorious “Assassins” sect and ending the over 700 year old Abbasid Caliphate in the process. With the empire also expanding… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern History: the Battle of Ayn Jalut (1260)

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

After 1514’s Battle of Chaldiran demonstrated clearly that the Safavids were no military threat to the Ottomans, but also that the Ottomans were in no position to conquer Iran, the Ottomans turned their focus to the third great Middle Eastern power, the Mamluks of Egypt and Syria. Not coincidentally, the Mamluks were at the same… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Marj Dabiq (1516)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of the Pyramids (1798)

Before we get started please let me put in a plug for the wonderful “Age of Napoleon” podcast. If you’re interested in history, and especially the Napoleonic period, it is well worth your time. It’s one of the few history podcasts out there that I would liken to reading a very well done scholarly work,… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of the Pyramids (1798)

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

Here, at long last, 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… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Fariskur (1250)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Massacre of the Citadel (1811)

Egypt’s Mamluks are one of the rare historical dynasties that gets to have two endpoints, where most just get the one. We’ve talked about the Mamluks before, several times, but since the nature of their dynasty is a big part of the reason why they survived their first “end,” let’s recap. The Mamluk dynasty grew… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Massacre of the Citadel (1811)

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)