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Old 28-03-2015, 10:05 PM   #345
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Arrow Emirate of Sicily

Kingdom of Heaven - The Knight Hospitaller Scenes ..
The Emirate of Sicily was an Islamic state (emirate) on the island of Sicily (in Southern Italy), which existed from 831 to 1072.. Its capital was Palermo..Muslims, who first invaded in 652 AD, seized control of the entire island from the Byzantine Empire in a prolonged series of conflicts from 827 to 902.. An Arab-Byzantine culture developed, producing a multiconfessional and multilingual state.. The Emirate was conquered by Christian Norman mercenaries under Roger I of Sicily who founded the County of Sicily in 1071..Even up until the late 12th century, and probably as late as the 1220s, Arabic-speaking Muslims formed the majority of the island's population..Their influence remains in some elements of the Sicilian language..

By the time of Sultan Barquq, the first Circassian (or Burji) Mamluk Sultan in the late 14th century, Egypt had been significantly affected by the ravages of the Black Death but continued to be the center of great economic activity, and many commercial and religious buildings were constructed at this time.. During Barquq's first reign (1382-1389), his Master of the Stables (amir akhur),the amir Jaharkas al-Khalili, destroyed the Fatimid cemetery to erect a large caravanserai (خان khan in Arabic; a building that could house merchants and their goods) at the heart of the city, disposing of the bones of the Fatimid royal family by throwing them into the rubbish hills east of the city..The khan was located at the middle of Cairo's most important zone of economic activity, and later sultans also built commercial establishments nearby, including Sultan Qaytbay's wikala (another term for caravanserai) south of the Al-Azhar Mosque, and Sultan al-Ghuri's better-preserved wikala just east of his mausoleum complex..By the late 15th century, the district around Khan el-Khalili had also become the major center of foreign trade, which included the sale of slaves and precious stones...

The Emirate of Sicily began to fragment as intra-dynastic quarrels took place between the Muslim regime..By the 11th century mainland southern Italian powers were hiring Norman mercenaries, who were Christian descendants of the Vikings; it was the Normans under Roger I who captured Sicily from the Muslims..The Norman Robert Guiscard, son of Tancred, invaded Sicily in 1060.. The island was split between 3 Arab emirs, and the sizable Christian population rose up against the ruling Muslims..After the conquest of Sicily, the Normans removed the local emir, Yusuf Ibn Abdallah from power, but did so by respecting Arab customs..By the 11th century Muslim power in the Mediterranean had begun to wane..The Norman Kingdom of Sicily under Roger II has been characterized as multi-ethnic in nature and religiously tolerant.. Normans, Jews, Muslim Arabs, Byzantine Greeks, Lombards and native Sicilians lived in relative harmony..Arabic remained a language of government and administration for at least a century into Norman rule, and traces remain in the language of Sicily and evidently more in the language of Malta today.. The Muslims also maintained their domination of industry, retailing and production, while Muslim artisans and expert knowledge in government and administration were highly sought after...The House of Hohenstaufen and their successors (Capetian House of Anjou and Aragonese House of Barcelona) gradually "Latinized" Sicily over the course of two centuries, and this social process laid the groundwork for the introduction of Latin (as opposed to Byzantine) Catholicism.. The process of Latinization was fostered largely by the Roman Church and its liturgy.. The annihilation of Islam in Sicily was completed by the late 1240s, when the final deportations to Lucera took place..

To the Egyptians the sun was the symbol of immortality, for, while it died each night, it rose again with each ensuing dawn.. Not only has the sun this diurnal activity, but it also has its annual pilgrimage, during which time it passes successively through the 12 celestial houses of the heavens, remaining in each for 30 days.. Added to these it has a 3rd path of travel, which is called the precession of the equinoxes, in which it retrogrades around the zodiac through the 12 signs at the rate of one degree every 72 years..Concerning the annual passage of the sun through the 12 houses of the heavens, Robert Hewitt Brown, 32°, makes the following statement: "The Sun, as he pursued his way among these 'living creatures' of the zodiac, was said, in allegorical language, either to assume the nature of or to triumph over the sign he entered.. The sun thus became a Bull in Taurus, and was worshipped as such by the Egyptians under the name of Apis, and by the Assyrians as Bel, Baal, or Bul.. In Leo the sun became a Lion-slayer, Hercules, and an Archer in Sagittarius. In Pisces, the Fishes, he was a fish--Dagon, or Vishnu, the fish-god of the Philistines and Hindoos"..A careful analysis of the religious systems of pagandom uncovers much evidence of the fact that its priests served the solar energy and that their Supreme Deity was in every case this Divine Light personified. Godfrey Higgins, after 30 years of inquiry into the origin of religious beliefs, is of the opinion that "All the Gods of antiquity resolved themselves into the solar fire, sometimes itself as God, or sometimes an emblem or shekinah of that higher principle, known by the name of the creative Being or God"..

In Masonry the sun has many symbols.. One expression of the solar energy is Solomon, whose name SOL-OM-ON is the name for the Supreme Light in 3 different languages..Among certain of the Arabian and Persian astronomers the 3 stars forming the sword belt of Orion were called the Magi who came to pay homage to the young Sun God..Man's 3 bodies are symbolized by an upright triangle; his threefold spiritual nature by an inverted triangle.. These 2 triangles, when united in the form of a 6-pointed star, were called by the Jews "the Star of David," "the Signet of Solomon," and are more commonly known today as "the Star of Zion"..

Everything to the contrary notwithstanding, Mohammed is not responsible for the contradictions and inconsistencies in the Koran, for the volume was not compiled and did not assume its present form until over twenty years after his death..The feminine principle is repeatedly emphasized in Islamic symbolism.. For example, Friday, which is sacred to the planer Venus, is the Moslem's holy day; green is the colour of the Prophet and, being symbolic of verdure, is inevitably associated with the World Mother; and both the Islamic crescent and the scimitar may be interpreted to signify the crescent shape of either the moon or Venus.. We must never forget that the dark ages in Christian Europe were the bright ones of the Mohammedan world.. In the field of philosophy the Arabs started by adopting the neo-Platonism they found in Europe, and gradually working back to Aristotle"... know that I'm not smarter than you..Then how did you catch me?..You had disadvantages..What disadvantages?..You're insane..And if one does what God does enough times...

Last edited by lightgiver; 28-03-2015 at 10:05 PM.
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