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Old July 20th, 2009, 03:08 AM
MNP MNP is offline
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That's Holy Emerald Empire (of the Irish Nation) or HEEIN to you!

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Socio-Political Consequences of the Early University System Outside the Iberian Peninsula

by

Muftisor Historia* Miguel C.S.D Alatriste

and

Doctor Jena Connolly, University of Iona.

First Published 1479, Viva River Press
First Mass Market Edition 1484, Orinoco Public Division

Reign of Alita II Araman

The construction of the University of Iria (Faith) in 839 is one of those events that may be important in their own time but over the centuries are revealed to have impacts all out of proportion to themselves and that their builders could never have imagined. Another is the University of Malaga, but for now we must focus on the Religious university.

After coming into the control of Galicia shortly after his reign began, as a gesture of goodwill to his new subjects King Rolando returned the bones of St. James to their finding place at Iria (Flavia). While this did much to restore the local good will (along with substantial economic assistance available via more extensive control of the Western Saharan trade routes) after touring the province in AD 837 it was decided that an institution for religious study would have to be established to properly take advantage of the presence of the relics.

Pope George (834-851) was duly consulted and consented to the formation of the University of Iria as a center for religious studies in the west. In set up, while it owes much to the catholic education centers of earlier periods in the decades after it's founding it owed much to the evolving practices of the Islamic Madrassa concept developed in Idrisid Kingdom in the 850s. It was said that the decision to name Rolando's sister Aiza as patron of the school was due both to her marriage into the Galician nobility and to the desire to create an image for the school as a non-threatening to established Catholic institutions and because Aiza had become quite a pious woman according to all extant sources.

The course of study in the Iria school from the beginning was centered on topics outside the normal study of doctrine and ritual of the Catholic church. In part this was due to the existence of the Mozarabic rite in the kingdom proper that was quickly introduced into Galicia. Approved by Pope George as by his predecessor Pope Paul, this rite had to coexist with the Roman Rite. As such parts of the school were focused on more unitary aspects of the rites as well as less overtly liturgical topics and provided and outlet for theological (and invariably theo-political) arguments of the day.

One of the theories further developed in the Iria school (and with great enthusiasm from the Pope) was that of the King as annointed by God (via the Pope) to prevent the Chaos of Satan from engulfing the world. The concept of course was not new, but the intricacies of the theory began to be filled in. Unfortunately this eventually led to the theory of Divine Rite espoused first in our Kingdom by Ramon II (r. 986-987). But 600 years ago such concerns would not even have registered.

............

With the background of the subject complete the implications for outward influence by the Iria school can now be looked at. While scholars around the region later began to attend the school it was the Monks of Iona that first demonstrate an effect the school and in particular the Anointed Orderer of God would have on history. (I am indebted in the particulars of this section to Doctor Connolly with her access to the Iona resources on this issue.)

During the course of repeated Norse raids on Iona in the first half of the 9th century, many of the learned monks there migrated to other parts of the region. Several of them took the opportunity to join the university first as visiting observers and later as faculty or students. One in particular who is known to us now as St. Andrew of Ireland, impressed all who knew him there with his wit and eloquence. After studying at Iria for a time he returned to Ireland around 849.

There after in Ireland of the time, occurred the "Wars of Consolidation" or more simply "The Consolidation" that marked the beginning of the transformation from the Ard Ri of Ireland into the imperial monarch of the HEE. It was almost surely begun by the preaching on Andrew on the the internal failure of resistance in the face of the Norse onslaught. He proclaimed among other things that the defeat of the Irish by the Norse was a punishment from God for their acceptance of Chaos and Disunity which was "...like unto a veneration of the Deceiver of Men!" (See the appendix for the known textual records of Andrew's speeches as compiled by Doctor Connolly.)

The surprising thing was that he was not simply killed outright or brushed aside. Perhaps the support of the well-liked Queen Gormflaith enabled him to survive past those early days. Regardless the Irish began to turn on each other with greater ferocity than before as enterprising monarchs began to mouth adherence to Andrew's preachings. But while before Irish Kings had more openly ambitious motives the lip service and preaching had the effect to plant the seeds of a national consciousness in many of the Irish as to a more religious duty to resist the pagan Norse. Many have targeted this moment as the catalyst for the famous Irish intensity to their religion but one should note that in the beginning the top-down aspects of the situation were such that it was window dressing for ambitious kings.

But what is undeniable is that in the short term this made the situation worse for the Irish: the Norse were able to take greater advantage of the Irish kingdoms who were fighting each other more often and more fiercely than before and made more inroads. But once the Consolidation was completed under Ard Ri Patrick Mar (r. 864-890) it inevitably led to Norse removal from Ireland and the Irish to their participation at the Battle of Culloden (899) that decided the fates of the Irish, Saxon and Norse struggle for dominance of the islands and led to the birth of the HEE.

*OTL's Professor of History

With apologies to the excellent thread on a unified Ireland by Fraxinesis and the knowledgeable and erudite posters in it
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Old July 20th, 2009, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Muftisor Historia* Miguel C.S.D Alatriste

and

Doctor Jena Connolly, University of Iona.

First Published 1479, Viva River Press
First Mass Market Edition 1484, Orinoco Public Division
Holy crap. This is what I call good foreshadowing.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 09:39 PM
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Zap!

Between the Wars 835-864

To say that Rolando of Spañ
a’s kingship (r. 835 - 857) was a continuation of his father’s would have been a mistake for in hindsight, Rolando’s reign was dedicated to one thing: the destruction of the rebel kingdom. The new king took a number of steps on this process but first had to consolidate his power for Rolando, like his grandfather was a bastard. Unlike his grandfather there were no legitimate issue to contest him and by now the average peasant in kingdom of Spaña was doing better than his grandparents were. Combined with Ramiro’s practice of slowly grinding down noble power there was no one effectively to oppose Rolando except the Church.

While Rolando generally had good relations with the papacy throughout his reign, it was also necessary to work with the local Mozarabic priests and bishops. Rolando also had to work with the Muslim religious scholars in the Kingdom. In Spaña owing to the historical descent of it’s ruling family and the number of Muslims that were in it (approximately 30-35% throughout the rest of the 9th century) a much more tolerant situation prevailed. The bureaucracy contained Jews, Christians, and Muslims since the beginning. But what was becoming clear was the slow dominance of the Christian faith. This discontented the Muslims (and while the Jews were not delighted by this, neither were they persecuted either) to a point and after the return of Galicia and establishment of the religious academy in 839, in 852 a Muslim curriculum was added. (Jewish instruction was not included until much later).

The structure of that university was a complex affair that encourage debate but also camaraderie using the Muslim concept of “People of the Book” as the base of it’s unifying force. The situation was not ideal and the smooth running of the institution depended on both able administration (a University council of eminent civil servants who were also religious scholars from both faiths) and a politically competent King to balance the factions. In this the friendship with the Caliph helped though it did go on to present some troubles with Pope in later time periods. Regardless, during the reign of Popes George I and Richard I (r. 851-877)--a Saxon born Richard Stark and with the personal coat of arms of a beetle--the situation proved relatively benign.

The next step for the King resulted on building favorable alliances. While the treaty with the Idrisids had proven long-lasting, the Lombard Kings of Italy were another matter. Competition of sorts in their trade, the Italians resented the Spaniards for their exclusive use of Muslim trade routes without laborious negotiations or Muslim trader middle-men. While their relations improved a bit with the demarcation of interests in the ports of the western Mediterranean at the Corsica Concord of 846 between France, Spana and Italy they were never warm especially after Rolando wed a French* noblewoman and a daughter of one of King Aldric’s closest supporters, Emma of Anjou in 843.

Rolando’s reign is famous though for two things, one was the development of a Military Logistics curriculum that occurred via contributions from the civil service (it was based out of the civil service before being split off in 855) the Agricultural school, and the Mathematicians.

The other was the rivalry between Fernando Abbas (named in honor of his father) and Alkindus the Arab refugee from the House of Wisdom. While Alkindus was already somewhat famous at his arrival, Abbas was just becoming well known. Whatever quirk of administration that placed them together for the 840s should however be thanked for each spent most of his life trying to outdo the other. In one thing however, they were united: their condemnation of alchemy. Through Alkindus’ philosophy and study of stones and Abbas’ demonstrations of the properties of minerals metals and rocks, they worked tirelessly to turn the minds of the scholars of Spaña toward open empirical study of such matters and for the most part they succeeded. It was also during this time (while near the mines in the Maghreb) that Abbas while developing his more efficient quartz-cutting process (the quartz intended for us by himself and Alkindus to demonstrate certain properties inimical to alchemy) was injured during an experiment. He recorded it as one of the strangest things he’d ever felt, a momentary stinging sensation that left behind a momentarily feeling of numbness and fortunately spoke to Alkindus about it. Alkindus for his part remembered the raad fish that produced a similar effect. While rivals both men were fully capable of working together when fascinated by something else and documented the similarities as well as attempting to reproduce the mysterious effect if possible. Progress was slow but they were eventually able to document a significant (as in observable) charge from high purity pieces of quartz.

Meanwhile the outside world continued on. When King Pepin died in 843, his domains began to fragment. His son Lothair was even more of a non-entity than he was and in practice the various lords of the rebel domains were independent, operating on their own and sometimes even fighting each other though the hungry gaze of the kingdoms around them kept them somewhat united though not enough to fight the northmen and some of the lords began to call on the ships of Spaña to protect their ports and trade.

Still when Rolando died in 857, his eldest son Alejandro was only 14 years old, a little too young to rule. A regency council was established, headed by his mother Emma assisted by the various provincial governors and learned men (Alkindus and Abbas were outside advisers). But with a weaker King not proved in war as Ramiro or by prosperity and peace as Rolando, the nobility were able to strengthen their power. Even after Alejandro grew old enough (his full rule began in 860) the nobles held on to their power tightly and Alejandro had no choice but to engage in a delicate political dance as he tried to subvert them as tensions rose among them.

And so it was that when one of his own nobles assassinated childless King Lothair in AD 864, the Second War of the Consulate began.

*They’re becoming “French” by this time though it doesn’t mean quite the same thing as it does in OTL
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Old July 24th, 2009, 05:12 AM
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Anything I can do to get more comments? Need to know what to focus on in the future though I have already decided on some changes in style... Or have I managed to run the TL into the ground?
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Old July 24th, 2009, 06:40 AM
Farfromhome Farfromhome is offline
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I think your timeline is coming out great, I think it might be interesting to hear about the catholicization of the maghreb, and the process it is taking. Since I'm assuming it is not the violent route. It might also be interesting to hear how their muslime neighbors to the south are taking this.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 06:57 AM
minifidel minifidel is offline
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I'm really loving the TL, so I hope you don't get discouraged and keep writing

I'm curious about the implications of two successive "bastard" heirs for Spaña. It's either going to come to an end very soon or it's going to become acceptable, which is going to seriously undermine the idea of marriage in the Mozarabic rites as well as the very idea of legitimacy and illegitimacy.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 10:49 PM
Valdemar II Valdemar II is offline
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A interest aspect is that without Danelaw, the Danish overpopulation have to go another place and the Vendish areas would be perfect for that.

Beside that without Danes being as active in raiding, Viking will be a lot smaller problem (Danes made up the majority of Scandinavian population at the time, and their raiding/conquest ws a lot more organised than the Norvegian*).
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Old July 25th, 2009, 06:25 AM
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I am aware of the Dane/Viking Issue, it'll be addressed

OVERVIEW

The Second War of the Consulate
(864-880) was very different than the first. The first war had distinct campaigns, and was characterized by attempts to seize population centers and fortifications. It was, as much as could be at that time, a conflict waged by states. The rebellious nobles were united first behind the respective claimants to the throne and later under Pepin and more directly Eder Abbaran, the Basque-descended strategist that more than anyone else had contributed to the survival of the rebels. The second war was a very different affair. Italy remained a federation of nobles, though one that had worked surprisingly well in the interim. Unlike in the first war France had no quarrel with them at this time, and indeed the border had been unchanged for some years, certainly since the Aldrian line took the throne of the Kingdom. In addition France had managed to reach an accommodation with the Bavarians in the pacification of the Sorbs and was free to focus on other matters.

The Aldrian line had risen fast, and was resented by parts of France’s nobility. They had been chosen for several reasons: no other male claimants save Pepin were in the Carolingian line. The husbands of any in the female line had been unacceptable to the majority of the nobility. Most of the nobles were also unacceptable for one reason or another. After the experience of the first war, all the nobles dreaded another internal conflict that would be exploited by Pepin. They all had to act fast so he couldn’t officially claim the throne. That he died shortly thereafter made several of them regret their actions. Consequently the Aldrian line had needed to secure their hold on power and only managed it by a series of feudal agreements that functionally granted greater power to the nobility. They immediately set about undoing the agreements and trying to create a more centralized state after the pattern in Spaña, however the reduction of noble power in that country made resistance greater.

As a consequence the prosecution of the war in France was led by individual nobles, with their personal armies, with a document of approval from the King and not a royal feudal army as under Charles. Their progress was slow as they were more equal to their enemies than they would have if united and they often quarreled among themselves. The Kings were concerned with both Viking raids, and more state-based expansion under Arvid I (r. 849-870). The Aldrian line was finding it very difficult to muster feudal levies to properly defend from these attacks and consequently needed to expend their own personally pledged men to do so. This had the end result of increasing their own power, but not for most of the war.

In Spaña the overriding concern of King Alejandro was to establish uncontested dominion and take the Consulate title from Pope Richard. It was also his first chance to try out the revamped Spanian army that had been rebuilt and changed since the war to a force whose manpower was provided by the nobility but whose command, and equipment was provided by the crown. This was an enormous expense, and only the improvement in trade and agriculture allowed it. The armies were also noticeably smaller than in the past, but also better trained and led by an officer corps that had been created at Alcazar Corazon mostly from low nobility or even literate peasants (for literacy rates were climbing fast, over 60% of the population was literate) based on the experiences of the recent war, and old roman manuals that had been translated and imported from the Arab or Italian archives.

Thus it was important to win over the populace to Spanian control even if it meant conflict with nobility. While more able to raise revolt, they were also larger targets and allowing the loyal Spanian nobility to destroy their counterparts to increase their own influence was a risk King Alejandro and his advisers in the Consejo Cortez* felt like taking. One risk they did feel like taking however, was to hire Viking mercenaries to augment their own armies and do some of the heavy lifting. While propaganda for the enemy, it was felt that depredations could be blamed on them and later they could be dealt with. In this way, many of the northmen after gained experience in Spanian organization, tactics and administration.

________________________________

*Court Advisory Council

A/N:This is not going to be the multi-part saga of the first war. It's much shorter, after which we are going to explore what is going on the Maghreb, and the dynastic situation about the bastards with Alejandro's sons.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 06:28 AM
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Thank you for your comments, I appreciate it and they've helped me flesh out the end of the 9th century and the start of the 10th which had been a bit empty. Right now the changes are coming a little slowly but that's going to shift radically during 11th century.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 08:09 AM
minifidel minifidel is offline
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I must say, that 60% figure seems a bit high for a medieval country, especially before the invention of the printing press and with a heavily rural society.

I'm also curious about the dynastic situation in France, is this really a new dynasty, or are they related to the Carolingians in some way or what
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Old July 26th, 2009, 07:58 PM
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Interesting timeline.
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Old July 26th, 2009, 07:58 PM
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Oh, and great maps!
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Old July 27th, 2009, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minifidel View Post
I must say, that 60% figure seems a bit high for a medieval country, especially before the invention of the printing press and with a heavily rural society.

I'm also curious about the dynastic situation in France, is this really a new dynasty, or are they related to the Carolingians in some way or what
Actually in my research I've noticed that Al-Andalus had really REALLY high literacy rates, estimated as 90% in some places even in the 900s. In Spana, the Muslims are mostly all literate (it's even more important to read the Koran in a Christian dominated land with very subtle Christianization pressures) and they make up about 25-35% of the population. All the nobility are literate now, and with the military training all the officers (even the common officers) are necessarily literate. Also as my next post shows the Grammar college sends trained instructors to the larger villages to make sure people have some basic literacy for a variety of reasons including the ability to actually read decrees from the king, laws etc. to make people more likely to obey and to reduce the power of the nobility (reducing something that keeps them apart from the common people). The chances for organized rebellion are not high even with literacy because 1) Spana is a nice place to live relatively speaking 2) no printing press means literary sedition doesn't get far fast and 3) the Grammar teachers keep an eye on just that situation and report it to the Combiners (Civil Administrative Demographic Agents).

Since the rebellion and seeing the situation in France, the Crown has had the objecive of reducing the power of the nobility and regaining the lost lands.

Aldrian line is descended from Aldric, the POV guy that appeared at the start of the consulate war. Aldric started as a count but proved himself loyal and a good field commander so his status rose throughout the war. He got lands tacked on from rebels he conquered as well as when incompetent nobles rebelled, got killed or on rare occasions were forcibly removed by the king as he did to the Count of Paris. He then defended Paris (and a few other places) from Viking raids and got bumped up eventually to the level of Duke and recently conquered the Sorbs for the King extending his domains even more. I noticed I didn't point out that Martinus' married a daughter to one of his sons (but I should have). When Martinus died his only male relative via the Salic law was Pepin and that was not going to fly for France. His other relatives were either fairly distant or so clearly unacceptable for some reason or other that to raise one would touch off a civil war and that would be disasterous for the Kingdom and the nobles for once realized it. So Aldric was a compromise candidate that had some connection to the old line. Plus he was old, he'd die soon and they thought they could influence his descendants (who are also partially Carolingian).

@Glen: Thanks! I rather love making the maps.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 08:10 AM
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AD 865, somewhere near modern day Saldaña

The sun was high in a brilliant azure sky devoid of clouds.
The only sound Diego heard was the wind rustling through the bushes but despite the wind Diego felt himself slowly cooking in his short hauberk. It was the kind of day that called for spending relaxing with his wife Elena and sipping some wine after an abbreviated training session. Crouched behind one of those now, he peered through a hole in branches at the road in the depression below him. Across the road behind a screen of rocks was the rest of his company. He hoped that Escudero Aderras had taken time enough away from worrying over his precious grapes to properly disperse his jinetes properly. Aderras however, he had to ignore for now and he refocused his attention on the tumble of rocks opposite him. With so many of the men unblooded it would be all too easy for some one to break position for a reason that would be ignored by a veteran. Not that he was that experienced himself but he’d spent 2 years fighting desert bandits near Araman before being transferred north for the Reclamación, what the King had proclaimed the invasion of the rebel Kingdom of Pirenus.

Orders had been restrictive as to looting and living off the land, the point was to reconcile the populous not grind them into the ground. From what Diego had seen the rebel kings had done most of that work already: at the start Salamanca had been almost eager to rejoin Spaña proper, and as Capitan Juan de Valencia’s Banner advanced north from there, the villages he’d seen had been the smallest and most rundown Diego could imagine. None had held anything like the Grammaticos or Combinaros ubiquitous in Spana and few had even held competent blacksmiths which beggared the imagination. Bowed heads and frightened faces had been the constant during their approach to the Duero and the Cabezzaros left behind in the larger villages had mostly sent their men to assure the protection of the village than to prevent unrest.

It was only as they approached the Duero that rebel forces were sighted moving south to engage them, but even then they were piecemeal, levies raised by local nobles and wreaking of disorganization and in-fighting, in other words easy pickings for the disciplined Spaniards. Diego was looking forward to testing out the new men in his company though he dread the report he’d need to send to Commandante Garza detailing his action for the month and spared a murderous thought for whatever bright light in Administration had decided that dragging along paper and ink was a good use of military logistical capability.

Movement caught his eye, a group of horsemen were entering view, followed by a group of javelin men and spearmen. No swordsmen that he could see and Diego nodded. Most of his own spearmen were set up in front of the dip in the road to prevent the horsemen from attacking his hidden men in any direction but up the gentle slope. He’d ordered the archers to concentrate on the horses as well as the first volley of javelins so they might be neutralized in the beginning. Mentally marking the point in the pass where it was time to attack he hoped again that his men would wait. And then it was finally time as he and his men rose from their hiding places and rushed down the slope bellowing an attack.

A storm of javelins and arrows hit the horsemen while his spearmen stormed forward before the horses could get room to charge. Several went down in the volley and another pair in the confusion. Quickly Diego hurled his own heavy javelin (designed for anti-cavalry use) and saw another of the horses writhe and fall to the ground mashing its rider. A second volley of projectiles hit the horsemen and then the spearmen were on them, spreading through them so none of them could get room. All around him more of his own men rushed down to engage the enemy footmen and he ordered the archers and javelin men to shift targets.

Struck from multiple directions the enemy line began to break up as the men tried to save themselves. Dedicated to finishing them off as a cohesive whole, Diego could do nothing and so was immensely relieved when Aderras swooped in from behind them and rode down the stragglers….

________________________________________

*Ranks and Titles:
Grammatico: Literature and Grammar instructor, placed in settlements to improve literacy, a product of the Grammar University.
Combinaro: Lit. “Combiner.” A data-gathering scribe, placed in all settlements to provide information on demography and weather, attached the National Administration and University, usually a local man.
Cabezzaro: Head Man (of a body of troops), local militarily trained peasant, leads about 20 militia men
Protegero: Equivalent to Lieutenant, educated commoner or Hidalgo trained at the military school, commands a company. Diego is this.
Escuderos (esquire): Mounted man-at-arms (often a hidalgo), trained and equipped by the King. Leads a troop of jinetes (usually consisting of hidalgos).
Commandante: Low-ranked noble, foot equivalent to a Señor, commands about 5 companies his "command."
Capitan (Corona): Crown Captain, Mid-High ranked noble on contract to the King for the duration of a conflict or a period of years. Commands a Banner (1500 men).
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Old July 27th, 2009, 08:47 AM
wilcoxchar wilcoxchar is offline
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Unfortunately I haven't had enough time to read this timeline (just found it and it's almost 3am here) and I've only looked at the maps but so far it's looking great! I'll comment further once I read through it.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 09:31 PM
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Oh no! I am writing about social issues again!

I have a problem, and that problem is that I love writing about social changes. It's addictive and boring to everyone else but I cannot get enough of it in terms of world building because I love establishing a functioning society. Sorry, we'll get more action stuff in the future.

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EFFECTS OF THE RECLAMACION ON SPANIAN
RELIGIOUS AND SOCIAL POLICY

by

Muftisor Historia Miguel C.S.D Alatriste

First Published 1470, Vizcayanza Press

Reign of Rolando III Araman

The Reclamación as expected by King Alejandro I and his advisers proved to be expensive and slow. With the lack of advanced administration in the short-lived Kingdom of Pirenus land had to be taken piece by piece. To finance the operation the crown had taxed the nobility and created as many small and middle sized farm holdings as possible to spread out the burden. In the most controversial move revoked the tax-exempt status of landholders. While originally consisting of warrior nobility, that status had never become widespread after the unification. Lesser nobility who had appeared since were by far in the majority and not tax exempt. They saw it as a welcome leveling factor and combined with the opportunities for advancement the crown provided in service to itself, they supported the regime.

Where the more powerful nobility could, they took out their resentment on their Muslim subjects via discriminating against them by taxation, or preventing the rebuilding of mosques (building of new Mosques was regulated by regional population statistics) and forcing any decision by the Islamic judiciary to be approved by Christian magistrates. The nobility also disparaged the crown. This was done by a salacious campaign of lies and assistance by the increased literacy of the area. The Crown itself should be commended for continuing literacy programs in the face of such results.* Both King Salamon and King Rolando had been of mixed-parentage. The seditionists argued that this was leading to a break down in marriages that would disrupt the foundations of the country and offend God. At first ignored by the Crown, the attack began as a response to the pressures put on the nobility during the beginning of the Reclamación.

In the Maghreb however, the ultimate goal of the crown was to integrate the land so it would be an extension of the peninsula. In the northwest Christianization advanced for a variety of reasons such as: lack of Muslim infrastructure in the region, the persistence of pre-Islamic beliefs, the acquiescence of the political Islamic leadership (killed in the conquests, bought off, or fled the region) and perhaps most importantly by a change in the Mozarabic Rite made to accommodate the egalitarianism of the region that emphasized universal brotherhood of men and equality before God.

The acceptance of this emphasis led to enormous social and political changes around the turn of the millennium but for now the demography of the region at the time of the Reclamación indicated a sizable Muslim minority (as much as 30-40% at times) would persist. There were other changes of emphasis in the local religion, for instance the de-emphasized the veneration of Saints and repression of public representations of saints as well as certain aspects of Papal authority. It should also be noted that this created a greater demand for University educated Christian (and later Islamic) clergy, as the citizenry were more comfortable asking religious questions and after the Imazaghan Irruption of the 900s these questions needed to be answered.

The lack of force Christianization can be answered by asserting the sympathy of the Crown towards Islam owing to descent and inertia, the need to conciliate an Islamic population, good relations with the Caliphate and Banu Ifran, and the need to counter political, religious and territorial claims made by the Idrisids over the years. In either case, Christianity and Islam both slowly moved south along the west African coast as missionaries and traders from both faiths established a presence due to the need for African gold to finance Spanian wars and with that gold unfortunately, came slaves.

*OOC: Vizcayanza Press is a private junior publishing house. Vivar River is the official state publisher, and Muftisor Alatriste desperately wants to threaten Vizcayanza to get a better contract, so he's spinning hard here. Keep this in mind in his writings.
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  #97  
Old July 27th, 2009, 09:42 PM
Hashasheen Hashasheen is offline
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Originally Posted by MNPundit View Post
I have a problem, and that problem is that I love writing about social changes. It's addictive and boring to everyone else but I cannot get enough of it in terms of world building because I love establishing a functioning society. Sorry, we'll get more action stuff in the future.
Its cool, I like reading about social changes.
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  #98  
Old July 28th, 2009, 06:48 PM
Basileus Giorgios Basileus Giorgios is offline
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Its cool, I like reading about social changes.
Me too. Please continue.
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  #99  
Old July 29th, 2009, 02:20 AM
MNP MNP is offline
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OOC: More social stuff next update

AD 866, Oviedo, Spaña

Diego squinted as he looked up at the huge stone building. It had a grand name, Church of the Holy Savior, but he’d seen higher buildings when he’d passed through Luz on his way north. From what he’d heard of the Cathedral of Santiago going up in Iria, it would dwarf this one. As it was the building was showing some cracks and dilapidation. That the king--former king--of the land allowed this spoke much about the prosperity in this kingdom.

No, not this kingdom. We will be one land, Diego thought mentally remembering the King’s goal, stated in his proclamation.

After allowing his men to loot the bodies of their newly slain foes, Diego had regrouped his men and continued on his way. They’d met another force a few days later, this time head on. Once again, after the mounted lancers went down, the enemy had broken and the advance continued through the foothills. Diego dared hope that they’d be able to meet up with the men heading east ahead of schedule but that hope faded as they’d pushed into the mountains of Asturias. Hit and run tactics and ambushes were something particularly effective in that rugged country and they slowed down the advance considerably but could not stop it and a month after midsummer they’d taken Mieres and settled down to wait for messengers from the western forces. In the meantime they’d been reinforced by the militia forces* and it was a good thing as the siege of Oviedo had been a long one.

Once Galicia had been regained by the Crown, Oviedo had become more important than ever and been fortified accordingly; one reason the town itself was in a state of disrepair, money had been spend on stone fortifications rather than upkeep. Now as winter set in the army began to suffer for all their preparations. In the past, they would have retreated but it was during the siege that the wisdom of the slow, deliberate advance had paid off. The towns they’d taken and held so firmly created secure supply lines so they were better supplied than the defenders of Oviedo had suspected. When the militia forces arrived in the Spring, they’d also managed to cut off the town from any meaningful aid. After the defenders became fully aware of the situation, a deal had been struck in the fashion of the time that set a date for the surrender of the city if there was no relief. For once the appointed day had come with no help arriving and the city had capitulated surprisingly like the plans that had been made at the beginning of the campaign.

Looting was kept to minimum due to the surrender and that half the army laying siege to the city were full time soldiers with regular pay. Money and valuables were taken to give to the militia and a smaller amount to the regular troops but for the most part the citizens could keep what they had. After the militia had returned home for the harvest it was for the regulars to secure the land they’d taken and guard against a counter attack. While Diego was not enthusiastic over the situation, he got regular pay (somewhat in arrears but acceptable) and it was better than being a farmer like his father.

Tearing his eyes away from the church, he scanned the rest of the town and waved an all clear behind him--they’d cut it close, and the city had not been ideally pacified when the militia’s term had been up for the year. But as Señor** Vivar dismounted and came forward movement caught his eye and he frantically ran at the noble pulling him out of the way as he felt a stabbing pain lance through his side.

_______________________________________

*Spaña’s professional forces number about 9,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry--it is too expensive to have more. The rest are militia with basic training and uniform equipment (a low quality sword or spear, shield, and occasional light armor).
**Lord, at this time a purely military title given to a low-to-middle noble on contract with the king, leads a section of cavalry.
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  #100  
Old July 29th, 2009, 05:46 AM
DuQuense DuQuense is offline
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Quote:
Oh no! I am writing about social issues again!
I have a problem, and that problem is that I love writing about social changes. It's addictive and boring to everyone else but I cannot get enough of it in terms of world building because I love establishing a functioning society. Sorry, we'll get more action stuff in the future.
While I have a Hard time incorporating there into My Timelines, I believe it is the Social/Culture Posts that really make a TL come alive.

Keep them up.
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