Bakhtiyar Khilji was a terrorist invader from what is today Afghanistan in the 12th century. He killed thousands of indigenous Indians & is traditionally held responsible for the destruction of Nalanda University & the slaughter of its monks. This destruction was partially responsible for the decline of Buddhism in India.
In 1185, Queen Tamar of Georgia married Prince Giorgi Bogoliubskoi of Suzdal, described as a vicious, drunken adventurer by the Georgians, who considered pretty much all Russians to be vicious, drunken adventurers. Prince Giorgi was soon divorced for illegal sexual (perhaps homosexual) acts, & Tamar found herself a more compliant husband, who impregnated her with 2 children & led her armies from the Black Sea to the Caspian. Tamar defeated the Turks & set up a so-called Empire of Trebizond.
c. 1100-1750- Largely Hindu India comes under the control of invading Muslims. Under Muslim dominance, Hindus increasingly turn to the Bhakti movement, the belief that salvation is attainable by everyone without regard to class distinctions or traditional rituals. The movement is closely related to Islamic Sufism, which appears around the same time: both advocate that a personal expression of devotion to God is the way to become one with him.
c. 1190- Philip II of France is about to set off on Crusade with Richard I of England. To protect Paris from Richard's regents, Philip has a fortification built outside the city's western wall to watch the road from Normandy & the Seine. Completed about 1205, this garrison fort will become the original base of the Louvre.
KOZAN-JI, Japan: is a Buddhist temple in Kyoto. The temple was founded by the Shingon scholar monk Myōe (1173 – 1232) & is renowned for its numerous national treasures. It is located deep in the mountains behind Jingo-ji temple. The area is famous for its autumn foliage, & is considered an ideal location for mountain asceticism. There have long been many small temples in this location. The current temple was destroyed numerous times by fire & war.
A Copper Alloy Figure Depicting Bodhisattva Manjushri Height: 18 in. (46 cm) West Tibet, circa 12th century
Itsukushima is an island in the western part of the Inland Sea of Japan. It is popularly known as Miyajima, which in Japanese means Shrine Island. Itsukushima is famous for the 12th-century shrine of the same name, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to traditional records, the shrine was established in the time of Empress Suiko but the warrior Taira no Kiyomori gave the shrine its present form. Itsukushima has a number of temples, including Toyokuni Shrine with its five-storied pagoda.
By the end of the 12th century, the word samurai was closely associated with the middle & upper echelons of Japan's warrior class. The samurai were usually associated with a clan & its lord. They followed a set of rules that later came to be known as the bushidō. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of then Japan's population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life & in modern Japanese martial arts.
A knight is a person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch or other political leader for service, especially of a military capacity. Historically, in Europe, knighthood has been conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower nobility. Ideals of chivalry were popularized in medieval literature, especially Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain, written in the 1130s.
pair of lion-form gold earrings, Persia, 12th century each composed of gold, hammered and chased, designed as stylised lions decorated with twisted wire and inset green and turquoise stone eyes Quantity: 2 2.5cm. height. 3.5cm. width.
Herrad of Landsberg was a 12th-century abbess of Hohenburg Abbey in the Vosges mountains. She is known as the author of the pictorial encyclopedia Hortus deliciarum (The Garden of Delights). This illustration of Hell is from a less delightful passage. Born about 1130 at the castle of Landsberg, Herrad entered the Hohenburg Abbey at an early age.
in Timbuktu, Mali, over a million manuscripts have been re-discovered alongside about 20 million more in West Africa overall. These manuscripts date back to 12th-16th centuries. "The fact that the trade of books in Mali was considered the most profitable business at that time shows how much West Africans loved literacy & education,” said Emad Al-Turk, Chairman and co-founder of IMMC. These manuscripts are incredibly rich in style and content.
late 12th century- Masculine & feminine clothing in Europe are virtually the same: a long, belted tunic with a cloak. 150 years later, little will have changed except differences in necklines and sleeves. More gendered clothing will first begin to appear in the late 14th century in northern Italy & France.
12th century- In Europe, there is little divide between private & public space. Even aristocrats sleep in an enclosed bed in the same great hall where they meet with vassals & eat meals. This has been the norm since the fall of Rome & will continue to be the norm for another 3 centuries.
KUMANO HAYATAMA TAISHA, Japan: is one of the original Kumano shrines which in the Shinto religion are believed to house the spirits of the sacred mountains Hongū, Shingū, & Nachi. The three original Kumano shrines are connected by the pilgrimage route known as "Kumano Sankeimichi". While its buildings were rebuilt recently, Hayatama Taisha has occupied the same spot on the Kumano Riverbank since at least the 12th century.
POLONNARUWA,Sri Lanka: was the capital of the second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms. It was declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who drove off the southern Indian Chola invaders to reunite the country once more under a local leader. The reign of Parakramabahu I (through 1186) is considered the Golden Age of Polonnaruwa. Trade & agriculture flourished. The king was adamant that no drop of rain was to be wasted.
MINARET OF JAM, Afghanistan: was built around 1190 of baked bricks. It is located in a remote & nearly inaccessible region next to the Hari River. The minaret is famous for its intricate stucco & glazed tile decoration, which consists of alternating bands of calligraphy, geometric patterns, & verses from the Qur'an. As of 2013 the minaret remained on the list of World Heritage in Danger, under serious threat of erosion.
QUTB COMPLEX, India: was originally the site of 27 ancient Hindu & Jain temples which were destroyed during the Muslim invasion of India. The temples' material was used in the construction of the Qubbat-ul-Islam Mosque. The best-known structure in the complex is the Qutb Minaret, built for the first Sultan of the Muslim Mamluk dynasty, who murdered the native Hindu king in 1192. The complex was added to by many subsequent rulers, including Ala ud din Khilji & British governors.
GUIMARAES, Portugal: is associated with the emergence of the Portuguese national identity in the 12th century. An exceptionally well-preserved & authentic example of the evolution of a medieval settlement into a modern town, its rich buildings exemplify Portuguese architecture over 400 years through the consistent use of traditional building materials & techniques.
Crak de Montreal (Jordan) - built in 1115 by Baldwin I of Jerusalem. The knights of the castle controlled the commerce of the area, as pilgrims and merchants needed permission to travel past. Saladin, who invaded the kingdom in 1187, laid siege to Montreal for two years, but was unable to use siege engines because of the hill. It is said that, during the siege, the defending crusader knights sold their wives and children for food. The castle finally fell to Saladin in May 1189.
PREAH VIHEAR TEMPLE, Cambodia: is a Hindu temple built during the period of the Khmer Empire. It is situated atop a 1,722-ft cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains. Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the 600-year-long Khmer Empire. Most of the temple was constructed during the reigns of Suryavarman I & Suryavarman II, ending in 1150.
URNES STAVE CHURCH, Norway: was built about 1132. It provides a link between the architecture of the Viking Age, with typical animal ornamentation, & Christianity, which was introduced into Norway during the reign of St Olav just prior to the building of this church. The church sits in a glacial valley directly across a fjord from the village of Solvorn & about 3.1 mi from the village of Hafslo.
ABBEY CHURCH OF SAINT-SAVIN-SUR-GARTEMPE, France: is a church built in the Romanesque style, which focused on rounded arches carried over from Roman Imperial architecture. The church contains many murals painted through the 12th century which are still in a remarkable state of preservation. Below the church is the frescoed crypt of the legendary martyr brothers St Savin and St Cyprian.
Bowl from Ghaznavid Afghanistan, 12th-13th centuries, high tin bronze, cast, hammered, chased, punched, & engraved
Afghan bowl from the 12th-13th centuries, the Seljuq period during which what is today Afghanistan was ruled by the Seljuq Turks. The bowl is earthenware incised and painted with polychrome glazes (Museum Code: F1944.49 | Photograph and description taken from Freer and the Sackler Museums.)