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Article

Elizabeth Heath

The Almoravids movement of Abd Allah ibn Yasin conquered parts of northwestern Africa and later Spain during the eleventh and twelfth centuries and converted the defeated populations to Malekite (Maliki) Sunni Islam. Little is known of Abd Allah ibn Yasin's life prior to 1035, when as a student he was visited by a Sanhadja Berber chieftain and invited to return home with him to teach his people the true faith of Islam A devout Muslim Abd Allah ibn Yasin was scandalized by the lax and immoral practices of the Sanhadja Berbers He encouraged them to convert to Malekite Sunni Islam imposing a strict interpretation of Qur anic law Eventually he even restructured the Berber s military to conduct jihads holy wars in accordance with the Qur an By 1041 however the Berber chieftains resented the religious scholar s rule and sent him away Abd Allah ibn Yasin and ...

Article

Allen J. Fromherz

second Moroccan caliph of the Almohad (Muʾminid) dynasty (r. 1163–1184), was a great patron of philosophy and architecture, a defensive leader, and statesman. The beginning of his reign was rocked by conflict over succession. His father, ʿAbd al-Muʾmin, had designated Muhammad, the older brother of a different mother as his successor. Muhammad was in power from a few weeks to a few months. The sources differ on the exact length of his reign.

However it was clear from the beginning that Muhmmad did not have the ambition or the ability to lead the vast administrative and military apparatus his father had created ʿAbu Yaʿqub Yusuf had the support of a powerful woman his mother It seems this formidable woman and her other son the powerful vizier Abu Hafs ʿUmar conspired to elevate ʿAbu Yaʿqub Yusuf as caliph ʿUmar claimed that the caliph ʿAbd al Muʾmin had declared to him ...

Article

Christine D. Baker

fifth Fatimid caliph of Egypt, was the first of the Fatimid caliphs to begin his rule in the newly founded Fatimid capital in Cairo. Born in Mahdiyya in North Africa, he traveled to Cairo in 974 with the Fatimid court when his father, the fourth Fatimid Caliph al-Muʿizz, moved the Fatimid capital from the Maghrib to Egypt. His full name was Al-ʿAziz billah, Nizar Abu Mansur.

Al-ʿAziz became the Fatimid caliph in 975 but, as the third son of al-Muʿizz, his succession was far from assumed. Al-Muʿizz’s oldest son, Tamim, had been passed over for the succession because he was suspected of intriguing against his father with dissident members of the Fatimid court. Al-Muʿizz’s second son, ʿAbdullah, was the favored heir. But ʿAbdullah died unexpectedly in 975 and al-Muʿizz formally recognized al-ʿAziz as his successor. Al-ʿAziz came to power in December 975 when he gave the khutba Friday sermon ...

Article

Floyd Jr. Ogburn

soldier and evangelist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His father was an African servant and his mother was the daughter of Colonel Morgan, an officer in the rifle corps during the American Revolutionary War. As an infant Bowles remained with his father but dwelled with a foster parent in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, until age twelve. After the death of his foster parent, he lived with a Tory family until fourteen, when he joined the Colonial artillery as a waiter to an officer. Two years later he enlisted in the American army and served until the war concluded.

The war over, Bowles traveled to New Hampshire and married Mary Corliss his cousin and the granddaughter of Colonel Morgan Soon after marriage he was baptized and joined the Calvinist Baptist Church in Wentworth New Hampshire Finding the Calvinist denomination too inflexible he later converted to the Free Will Baptist embracing ...

Article

Charles Rosenberg

the son of a Revolutionary War veteran of the same name, was born in Wolcott, Connecticut, and served as the first clerk of the African Ecclesiastical Society in New Haven. Although sparse and sometimes conflicting accounts in published literature have confounded records of the father and son, recently genealogical research in Tompkins County, New York, has clearly identified and distinguished the two from original records.

On 18 July 1756 “Prince, the negro servant child of Samuel Riggs & Abigail his wife” was baptized, according to church records in Derby, Connecticut. Although the word “slave” was not routinely used during that period, he was a servant “for life,” valued at £50, and was inherited at Rigg's death by his daughter Abigail, married to a Reverend Mr. Chapman. Duplex enlisted 18 May 1777 in one of the Connecticut regiments commanded by Colonel Sherman and Colonel Giles Russell formed to fight ...

Article

Allen J. Fromherz

was the Persian founder of the Ibadhi or Kharijite Rustamid theocracy at Tahart a city in the region now known as Algeria Kharijism arose in North Africa soon after the Arab conquest of North Africa and the conversion of Berbers to Islam Rejecting the aristocracy of Arab tribal lineage and the debasing enslavement of Muslim Berbers the Ibadhi Berbers rallied around the egalitarian ideals of Islam The Berber Kharijites or Ibadhis of North Africa threw off the control of their Arab coreligionists and proclaimed their independence from both the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates in the East The great rebellion of the Berber Kharijite chief Maysara called the vile by Arab chronicles began as early as 740 CE only decades after the campaigns of ʿUqbah ibn Nafiʿ in the 680s The Kharijites successfully repelled various attempts by the Arab Caliphate to regain control eventually establishing two independent Berber dynasties the Yellows ...

Article

A. K. Bennison

was the second and most successful ruler of the Idrisid dynasty, which ruled northern Morocco from 789 to 985. His full name was Idris ibn Idris ibn ʿAbd Allah al-Hasani.

Among his achievements was the construction of the city of Fez, a project initiated, but not fully realized, by his father, and the promotion of Arabo–Islamic culture among local Berber tribes. Today, Moulay Idris II is venerated as the “patron saint” of Fez, and his shrine stands close to the city’s great mosque, the Qarawiyyin. However, his saintly status dates to the fifteenth century, when the cult of holy men and women became common in Morocco, rather than to his own era. Regular use of “Moulay,” a title of respect meaning “my lord,” in reference to Idris II also probably dates to this era.

The sources for the life of Idris II are hagiographic We cannot be certain about the ...

Article

Kahina  

Allen J. Fromherz

semi legendary queen of the Aures Mountain Berbers who resisted the Arab Muslim conquest of North Africa Her name the Kahina meaning the sorceress in Arabic was ascribed to her by Arab chronicles Indeed the main sources describing the Arab conquest of the Berbers are all in Arabic and are written from the perspective of the conqueror Legends ascribed to Kahina therefore must be seen as part of a conquest narrative even as they often portray her as a noble adversary of the spread of Islam Nevertheless it is almost certain that Kahina represented a historic person a woman or perhaps even a group of different queens or chieftesses who resisted the Arab conquest in the late seventh century Her memory is preserved and celebrated even by the most strident Berber converts to Islam In recent years she has become a powerful symbol of Berber nationalism both within and beyond ...

Article

Devona A. Mallory

minister and author, was born in the New York Colony to a family of free blacks. The names and occupations of his parents are not known. When he was four years old his father died. Marrant and his mother moved to Florida and Georgia; subsequently Marrant moved to Charleston, South Carolina, to live with his sister and brother-in-law. He stayed in school until he was eleven years old, becoming an apprentice to a music master for two additional years. During this time he also learned carpentry. His careers in music and carpentry ended in late 1769 or early 1770, when he was converted to Christianity by the famous evangelical minister George Whitefield.

Over the next few years Marrant converted many Native Americans, including members of the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw nations. In 1772 he returned to his family for a short time For the next ...

Article

Charles Rosenberg

soldier, preacher, educator, delegate to political and religious conventions, and writer, was born to Andrew Marrs, a free man, and Frances Marrs, at the time considered by law to be the property of one Jesse Robinson, in Shelby County, Kentucky. By law, Elijah Marrs inherited the slave status of his mother.

At the age of seven or eight Marrs was sent to work serving food in the Robinsons dining room Within a few years he was plowing corn fields and taking care of the cows Our master was not hard on us he later wrote and allowed us generally to do as we pleased after his own work was done Mothers he added including his own were necessarily compelled to be severe on their children to keep them from talking too much Many a poor mother has been whipped nearly to death on ...

Article

Ness Creighton

eighth Fatimid caliph of Egypt, ruled for sixty years, the longest of any of the caliphs, either in Egypt or any of the other Islamic states. He ruled from 1036 until 1094, succeeding his father al-Zahir. His rule was marked by chaotic fluctuations of stability and fortune, but is also considered to be of critical importance to the history of the Fatimid Isma’ili movement. His full name was Bi ʾLlah Abu Tamim MaʿAdd ibn ʿAli Al-Zuahir.

Al-Mustansir was born in Cairo on the sixteenth day of Djumada II, 420 AH (5 July 5 1029 according to Idris on 16 Ramadan 29 September At the age of eight months he was declared the successor of his father the short lived seventh caliph of the Fatimids ʿAli al Zahir r 1020 1036 Upon his father s death due to plague while still in his early thirties al Mustansir ascended to the ...

Article

Edward E. Andrews

also referred to as “Quaum” or John Quamine, slave, African missionary in-training, possibly the first African to attend college in the American colonies, and Revolutionary privateer, was born near Annamoboe, on the Gold Coast of Africa. He came from a wealthy family, and in the mid- to late 1750s he was sent by his father to receive a Western education. However, the captain who agreed to take him reneged on this agreement and sold him into slavery.

By the mid-1760s Quamino had become a slave to Captain Benjamin Church of Newport, Rhode Island. The historical record does not detail exactly what Quamino did under Church's ownership, but he converted to Christianity after his arrival in Newport. Quamino attended the First Congregational Church, which was taken over by Jonathan Edwards's avid protégé, Samuel Hopkins, in 1769. In that same year Quamino married Duchess Quamino then a ...

Article

Carmen De Michele

soldier and Christian saint, presumably died on 11 January 304 in the city of Tigava in the Roman province of Mauretania Caesariensis (present-day El Kherba in Algeria). The Roman Catholic Church venerates him as a military saint.

One of the very few sources reporting the life of Saint Typhasius is Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiqua et mediae aetatis, which only mentions his name and the place and date of his death: Typasius veteranus m. Ticavis in Mauritania, sub Diocletiano. Ian. 11. His martyrdom does not appear in any liturgical calendar or extant martyrology.

The Roman Emperor Diocletian 284 305 ruled as part of the first Tetrarchy The division of power to four emperors had become a political and military necessity since the borders of the immense Roman Empire could not be controlled by a single ruler Dicoletian who himself had no son to share his power adopted his comrade in arms ...