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LlywelynII

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Brand Nubian:
being a collection of sources and anecdotes relating the rise and still further rise
of the Coptic, Hellenic, and apparently off-white Kingdom of Nubia

"Sure, God is great. Allahu akbar, all that. But what has He done for me lately?" - Salomo the Impious of Makuria

*



*


From the first of the Inquiries of the Faithful by Bedr al-Jamali (c. AD 1100):


In the name of God, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful:

O God (praised may Thee be among the peoples of the earth!) Thee who controls the wind of the air and the tide of the sea, who rules both the fires of the heavens and the anoptica beneath the earth, we praise Thee: we praise Thee for what wisdom Thou hast and hast shared, we praise Thee for Thy gift of Thy Prophet (peace be upon him!) and for Thy Book by which the poor and feuding tribes of the desert were made one and made rich rulers over all the earth (in Thy Name), we praise Thee too for the insight Thou hast taught and the eloquence Thou has inspired, as we praise thee for the riches Thou hast provided in the fields and in the mines and the mercy Thou hast granted, the power Thou has bestowed over the earth and its creatures and the refuge Thou hast allowed us, for sure we take refuge with Thee from the violence of the talkative and the immoderation of the garrulous whose so long-wrought phrasing does such poor service to Thy creation in its beauty and in its simplicity (for just as the flatterer thrice harms, harming himself, his audience and Thy truth, so too harms the rhetorician whose phrasing makes noble what should be loathed, makes hidden what should be plain, and makes difficult to find what should be shared), and for this we praise Thee, as we praise Thee also for Thy protection of us Thy faithful from both the failings of inarticulateness and hesitancy, which art shameful.

O God, All-Seeing, All-Giving, keep us ourselves from the temptation of flattery and the courtier's connivances, from the bitterness of defamation and the slanderer's bile, from the stench of infamy and the betrayal of the informer.

And, too, we ask Thy pardon, O God, O All-Knowing One, O All-Providing One, we ask Thy pardon of Thee if our thoughts and inquiries carry us into the region of ambiguities, as we ask pardon if our steps advance us unknowing into the domain of errors. We ask of Thee succor which wilt lead us aright, a heart turning with justice, a tongue adorned with truth, a speech fortified with illustration, accuracy freed from mistake, resolution banishing caprice, perception estimating duly: we ask too of Thee that Thou wilt aid us by Thy guidance to conceive
[ed: ideas], and enable us by Thine assistance to express, that Thou wilt guard us from error in narration, and turn us from unseemliness in jesting that we may be secure from slanders of the tongue, that we may be free from the ill of bedangled speech, that we walk not in the road of sin, nor still error, nor yet folly, nor the arrogance of unwonted verboseness, nor stand in the place of repentance, that we be not pursued by suit or censure, nor need to flee from hastiness to excuse.

O God, fulfil to us this wish: give it to us to attain to this desire: put us not forth from Thy large shadow: make us not a morsel for the Devourer. For now we stretch forth to Thee the hand of entreaty; we art thorough in humiliation to Thee and abasement. O God who orders the people and kingdoms of the earth, who makes now this now that one lord and master over others, who elevates whom Thou wilt and who casts down whom Thou wilt, we call down Thy abundant grace and thy bounty that is over all, with humbleness of seeking and with the venture of hope, also approaching thee through the merits of Mohammed, lord of men, the intercessor whose intercession shall be received at the congregation of judgment, who will be praised so long as men have breath and tongues, upon whom be there peace. It is he by whom Thou hast set the seal to the prophets and whose degree Thou hast exalted to the highest heaven, whom Thou hast described in thy clear-speaking Book in which hast Thou said (and Thou art the most truthful of sayers): "It is the word of a noble envoy, of him who is mighty in the presence of the lord of the throne, having authority, obeyed, yea, faithful." O God, send thy blessing on him and his house the Fatimids who guide aright, on the Commander of the Faithful and his companions who build up the faith and make us followers of his guidance and theirs and profit us all by the loving of him and them. Thou art God Almighty, and one meet to answer prayer.

That said, O God . . . what the **** just happened?


 
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LlywelynII

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Specs

Realm: Kingdom of Nubia
Campaign: AM 783
Settings: Very Hard/Normal
Setup: Crusader Kings v1.05 + graphics + sweet/spicy Nubian flavor

The story starts 30 years in, since Nubia didn't have any chronicles until they took Cairo and Alexandria.

Inheritance: Salomo's the last of the salic primogeniture; afterwards, inheritance returns to Nubian traditional: queen's son to queen's daughter's son - ie, uncle to nephew. All the annoyance of primogeniture with none of the advantage! :)

Needless to say, the dynasty will move around a little bit...
 
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Veldmaarschalk

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Excellent start Llywelyn !
 

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Lookin' real fine. :)
 

unmerged(60841)

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I love the subtitle. Good job so far, looking forward to the dynastic chaos.
 
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Llywelyn said:
That said, O God . . . what the **** just happened?
:rofl: That screenshot realy is a shocker!

I must admit I'm somewhat curious as how you will be pulling off that inheritance thing.
 

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LlywelynII

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Nubia before the coming of Georgios III the Great

[anchor=C1]
Nubia before the coming of Georgios III the Great[/anchor]

*



*​

From the Myriobiblion of His Holiness, Pope of Alexandria and Nubia Benjamin II (born Ra'uf ibn-Ziri) (c. AD 1125):


An Orthodox Icon of Philip Baptizing the Ethiopian

III. I read the Acts of the Apostles, where it is written:

Then the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, "Get up and head south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route." So he got up and set out. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, that is, the queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of here entire treasury, who had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning home. Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit said to Philip, "Go and join up with that chariot." Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" He replied, "How can I, unless someone instructs me?" So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him. This was the scripture passage he was reading: Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opened not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who will tell of his posterity? For his life is taken from the earth. Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply, "I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this? About himself, or about someone else?" Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this scripture passage, he proclaimed Jesus to him. As they traveled along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Look, there is water. What is to prevent my being baptized?" Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, and he baptized him. When they came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, but continued on his way rejoicing.​


A painting of the Nubian Victorian period by either Heinrich Jenny or Wilhelm Ebbinghaus

From this we know that there were Christians in Nubia even before the coming of the holy Julianos and the reverend Longinos. For we know from Dio Cassius and Strabo that this Kandake was not in fact the queen of what is now styled Ethiopia but was rather ruler of the Nile within Nubia. Strabo relates that she was a manly woman, who had lost an eye and had her capital at Napata. This was sacked and razed by the Roman governor Petronius, but the Nubians surged forth afterwards. In Strabo it is written, "he ordered them to repair to Caesar: in their replying that they did not know who Caesar was, nor where they were to find him, Petronius appointed persons to conduct them to his presence. They arrived at Samos, where Caesar was at that time and the ambassadors obtained all that they desired, and Caesar even remitted the tribute which he had imposed." I may note in passing that Diocletian gave over to the Nubians all Roman Egypt above Syene (which the Arabs call Aswan) and sent them yearly tribute in exchange for not plundering the whole of Egypt, which Procopius notes in his History was still continued up until his time and which as the Baqt was yet still practiced by the Mohametans both Sunni and Shia.


Scenes from the Egyptian and Kushite Temple at Philai, by David Roberts

...​


Herodotus, father of fact checking

LX. I read the books of the History of Herodotus, nine in name and nine in number identical with the nine Muses. By Photius he is reckoned to be the best representative of the Ionic, as Thucydides of the Attic dialect preceding modern Greek. He is overly fond of old wives' tales and digressions, attracted by their charming sentiments, and fails to show the proper respect and restraint due to history. He dwells largely upon the kings of Persia, beginning with the ascension Cyrus and concluding before the death of his great-grandson Xerxes. In Diodorus Siculus we read Herodotus flourished himself during these times. It is said that, when he read his work, Thucydides, then very young, who was present with his father at the reading, burst into tears. Whereupon Herodotus exclaimed, "Oh, Olorus! how eager your son is to learn!"

As the author of Acts, he improperly calls the Nubians at Meroe as Ethiopians and recounts that of old they worshipped Zeus and Dionysus alone of the gods. They possessed an oracle of Zeus, taking both the occasion and the object of their wars from its pronouncements. During these expeditions, they would paint themselves in chalk and vermilion and already used the eight-foot bow of palm. He recounts a ridiculous story of a meat-covered glen and is in error as to the succession of kings, but speaks truth when he says that Nubians are the tallest and handsomest men in the whole world. Alas that they do not still live to be a hundred and twenty years old! but succumb to malaria and ague.

A story which would be incredible if not retold by the more sober Strabo is that the ancient Nubians would dry their dead in the Egyptian custom, cover them in gypsum, and place them inside coffins of hollowed crystal, which coffin was kept in the home of the family for one year, after which it was placed near the town. It is not said whether they were buried or left to the air, but none are now found outside our towns. They already practiced the painting of the face upon the shroud as a way of honoring the dead.

From the Ecclesiastical History of John of Ephesus, Book IV (c. AD 580):


The blessed Julianus, therefore, being full of anxiety for this people, went and spoke about them to the late queen Theodora, in the hope of awakening in her a similar desire for their conversion ; and as the queen was fervent in zeal for God, she received the proposal with joy, and promised to do every thing in her power for the conversion of these tribes from the errors of idolatry. In her joy, therefore, she informed the victorious king Justinian of the purposed undertaking, and promised and anxiously desired to send the blessed Julian thither. But when the king heard that the person she intended to send was opposed to the council of Chalcedon, he was not pleased, and determined to write to the bishops of his own side in the Thebais, with orders for them to proceed thither and instruct them, and plant among them the name of the synod. And as he entered upon the matter with great zeal, he sent thither, without a moment's delay, ambassadors with gold and baptismal robes, and gifts of honour for the king of that people, and letters for the duke of the Thebais, enjoining him to take every care of the embassy, and escort them to the territories of the Nobadae. When, however, the queen learnt these things, she quickly, with much cunning, wrote letters to the duke of the Thebais, and sent a mandatory of her court to carry them to him; and which were as follows : 'Inasmuch as both his majesty and myself have purposed to send an embassy to the people of the Nobadae, and I am now despatching a blessed man named Julian; and further my will is, that my ambassador should arrive at the aforesaid people before his majesty's; be warned, that if you permit his ambassador to arrive there before mine, and do not hinder him by various pretexts until mine shall have reached you, and have passed through your province, and arrived at his destination, your life shall answer for it; for I will immediately send and take off your head.' Soon after the receipt of this letter the king's ambassador also came, and the duke said to him, 'You must wait a little, while we look out and procure beasts of burden, and men who know the deserts; and then you will be able to proceed.' And thus he delayed him until the arrival of the merciful queen's embassy, who found horses and guides in waiting, and the same day, without loss of time, under a show of doing it by violence, they laid hands upon them, and were the first to proceed. As for the duke, he made his excuses to the king's ambassador, saying, 'Lo! when I had made my preparations, and was desirous of sending you onward, ambassadors from the queen arrived, and fell upon me with violence, and took away the beasts of burden I had got ready, and have passed onward. And I am too well acquainted with the fear in which the queen is held, to venture to oppose them. But abide still with me, until I can make fresh preparations for you, and then you also shall go in peace.' And when he heard these things, he rent his garments, and threatened him terribly, and reviled him; and after some time he also was able to proceed, and followed the other's track, without being aware of the fraud which had been practised upon him.

...​

As for the blessed Julian, he remained with them for two years, though suffering greatly from the extreme heat. For he used to say that from nine o'clock until four in the afternoon he was obliged to take refuge in caverns, full of water, where he sat undressed and girt with a linen garment, such as the people of the country wear. And if he left the water his skin, he said, was blistered by the heat. Nevertheless, he endured it patiently, and taught them, and baptized both the king and his nobles, and much people also.




From the History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria by Severos the Dwarf's son (c. AD 1000):

And in those days Heraclius saw a dream in which it was said to him: "Verily there shall come against you a circumcised nation, and they shall vanquish you and take possession of the land." So Heraclius thought that they would be the Jews, and accordingly gave orders that all the Jews and Samaritans should be baptized in all the provinces which were under his dominion. But after a few days there appeared a man of the Arabs, from the southern districts, that is to say, from Mecca or its neighbourhood, whose name was Muhammad; and he brought back the worshippers of idols to the knowledge of the One God, and bade them declare that Muhammad was his apostle; and his nation were circumcised in the Hesh, not by the law, and prayed towards the South, turning towards a place which they called the Kaabah. And he took possession of Damascus and Syria, and crossed the Jordan, and dammed it up. And the Lord abandoned the army of the Romans before him, as a punishment for their corrupt faith, and because of the anathemas uttered against them, on account of the council of Chalcedon, by the ancient fathers.​

...​

[Then] the prince of the Muslims sent an army to Egypt, under one of his trusty companions, named Amr ibn al-Asi, in the year 357 of Diocletian, the slayer of the martyrs. And this army of Islam came down into Egypt in great force, on the twelfth day of Baunah, which is the sixth of June, according to the months of the Romans. And in the year 360 of Diocletian, in the month of December, three years after Amr had taken possession of Memphis, the Muslims captured the city of Alexandria, and destroyed its walls, and burnt many churches with fire. And they burnt the church of Saint Mark, which was built by the sea, where his body was laid; and this was the place to which the father and patriarch, Peter the Martyr, went before his martyrdom, and blessed Saint Mark, and committed to him his reasonable flock, as he had received it. So they burnt this place and the monasteries around it....



...​

Then Amr, son of al-Asi, wrote to the provinces of Egypt a letter, in which he said: "There is protection and security for the place where Benjamin, the patriarch of the Coptic Christians is, and peace from God; therefore let him come forth secure and tranquil, and administer the affairs of his Church, and the government of his nation." Therefore when the holy Benjamin heard this, he returned to Alexandria with great joy, clothed with the crown of patience and sore conflict which had befallen the orthodox people through their persecution by the heretics, after having been absent during thirteen years, ten of which were years of Heraclius, the misbelieving Roman, with the three years before the Muslims conquered Alexandria. When Benjamin appeared, the people and the whole city rejoiced, and made his arrival known to Sanutius, the dux who believed in Christ, who had settled with the commander Amr that the patriarch should return, and had received a safe-conduct from Amr for him. Thereupon Sanutius went to the commander and announced that the patriarch had arrived, and Amr gave orders that Benjamin should be brought before him with honour and veneration and love. And Amr, when he saw the patriarch, received him with respect, and said to his companions and private friends: "Verily in all the lands of which we have taken possession hitherto I have never seen a man of God like this man." For the Father Benjamin was beautiful of countenance, excellent in speech, discoursing with calmness and dignity.

 
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Pictures up.

Limited to a set number in one post, and this one was the least like the others:


A comedic recounting of the reign of Justinian, of much later date

Still, thought it was apropos.
j.
 

Veldmaarschalk

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Really impressive so far.

May I ask what your background is ? You have a lot knowledge about the Nubians
 

LlywelynII

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Veldmaarschalk said:
May I ask what your background is ?
Sure. :)

You have a lot knowledge about the Nubians.
It takes me longer because I get sidetracked, browse around and end up reading a third of Ptolemy's Geography or following my Google Image's "Content Filter OFF" returns for "Nubia + Candace" (apparently they're amusingly disreputable names these days...) - but what I've done here so far doesn't take that long - just pop over at the Internet Medieval Sourcebook - especially since I'm following the tradition of the Ancients and just appropriating stuff wholesale with add-ins and tweaks. :D Turns out Christian Nubia's one of those fun places everyone ignored til the end of the 20th century, so it doesn't take much to come off like an expert: there's something like two in the world right now. I'm just sad I'm in China and can't get my hands on a decent book by Shinnie, since it'd give me more day to day stuff than you can find on wiki.

What I'm hoping is that there won't be a fall-off in tone or quality once I get to the gameplay, but what I was thinking that it would be fun and interesting to have at least some stuff at the beginning that made the AAR a lil more educational and gave some background. Y'all can tell me if it moves along too slowly.

Or gimme about two or three days and we'll be caught up the conniving bastard with two wives and the king with more negative piety than the antichrist. :p

j.

(heh - plus i didn't get on as a eu3 history betatester, so I'm prolly overcompensating ;))
 
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Nubia before the coming of Georgios III the Great (cont.)

From the Ecclesiastical History of His Holiness, Pope of Alexandria and Nubia Benjamin II (born Ra'uf ibn-Ziri) (c. AD 1125)


So did the Arab go from victory to victory, wracking God's vengeance against the Synodites of the Empire, humbling them as they hadst humbled our Lord and returning violence for their violence which they had shown against the faithful in Egypt and elsewhere. For truly wast it written, "the heathen, who knew not the law of righteousness, attained to the law of righteousness, and were a law unto their own selves; but Israel, which ran after righteousness, did not attain to it." Yet also was it said by our Lord: "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth" and also "in my distress I cried unto the Lord and he heard me" and further "I can do all things through Christ which strenghteneth me."



So at the moment of deepest doubt and night did the Lord God Saboath strengthen the hand of King Mikael Dura, whom the Muslims called the Qalidurat: in the year 368 of the Diocletian era were they repulsed back from the land of Nubia, alone across all Africa. Though the infidel outnumbered the faithful many times, still was the hand of God against them and they were they felled in the passes of the Nile as sheep or antelope by the Nubian bowmen.​

Terms were drawn up whereby alone among all peoples of the earth the Muslims abided to live peacefully beside the Nubians without coercion or invasion in the name of their faith. This was called by the Greek word pact, which is said by the Muslims as baqt. Each year would the Nubians provide the ruler of Egypt with 360 slaves from Ethiopia, neither sickly nor weak, neither elderly nor juvenile, in exchange for shipments of Egyptian grain and linen. And this pact lasted until my own time.​


From the History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria by Severos the Dwarf's son (c. AD 1000)

Now this war had lasted fourteen years between them, until Ibrahîm, brother of Al-Ma'mûn, began to reign. He set guards on the road to Abyssinia and Nubia. Now the king over the Nubians was Zacharias. So Ibrahîm sent, and said to him : "If thou wilt do what other kings have done before thee, then send the tribute for the past fourteen years. Otherwise we will make war upon thee." Now a deacon, named Georgios, was the secretary of the governor of Upper Egypt. So he wrote to the patriarch to make known to him what was contained in the letter of Ibrahîm, the prince.

...​

Then [the crown-prince of Nubia] Georgios started upon the road to Baghdad. And he begged the patriarch to pray for him that God might bring him back in safety. On his arrival at Baghdad, the capital of the empire, the prince received him with joy and said to him : "God gives thee the tribute of all the past years, in return for thy coming to my court and thy obedience to me." And Georgios remained with him many days in honour. Afterwards the prince dismissed him with many gifts of gold and silver and garments, and despatched a troop of soldiers with him, that they might conduct him to his own country in safety.

So he returned to Misr [ie, Cairo] with great glory and ceremony, holding a golden cross in his hand, while all the people welcomed him, according to the honour which the caliph had paid him. And Georgios requested leave of the patriarch that he might transport into the governor's palace, where he was lodging, a consecrated sanctuary, made of wood, that could be taken to pieces and put together again. And there were with him bishops from his own country, who celebrated the Liturgy for him, so that the king's son and all his companions made their communion there. And he gave orders that the wooden gong should be struck on the roof of the palace at the time of the Liturgy, as it is done at the churches. And all men marvelled thereat; and all the Christians rejoiced and glorified God for what he had shown forth through the prayers of this holy man, the patriarch. And in his days the said king's son set out and started upon his homeward journey. Therefore our father, the patriarch, proceeded with him, as far as a place called Bûlâk, with great state. And the father was thereby consoled for the trials which he had passed through.


Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the Furnace
of Nebuchadnezzar, a motif appearing in all
Nubian churches after Prince Georgios's trip

From the continuation of the History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria compiled after the death of Severos the Dwarf's son

As I have described, at this time, St. Mark's Seat had been vacant for about two years. Finally the bishops and deacons assembled in the Church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus in order to choose among their candidates. While they were convening, Abram the Syrian, a man devoted to religion and piety, entered the church and they unanimously decided to elect him. They took him to Alexandria where he was consecrated as the 62nd Patriarch.



The interior of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, the church
built on the spot where Christ's family rested in Egypt​

Then came upon the throne of St. Mark he who would be known as St. Abram, called the Syrian, for he was Syrian by birth. He was a wealthy merchant who had visited Egypt several times, and finally stayed there. He was known for his goodness, for his devoutness, and for his love of the poor. After his ordination, he distributed half of his wealth to the needy and the other half to contractors for the building of churches throughout Egypt.

During the reign of al-Muizz, who was the first of the line of the Fatimids to rule in Egypt, the court was ambivalent in its treatment of the faithful, being now sympathetic and tolerant and now atrocious and brutal. As for al-Muizz himself, he was known for tolerance and interest in debates on religious matters, but as Satan is the enemy of peace, he had a Jewish minister called Ibn-Killis who on one occasion informed him that it was written in "the book of the Nazarenes," meaning here the New Testament, that, "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to the mountain move from here to there, and it will move." Intending evil in his heart, he showed this verse to the Caliph and sought to have him challenge the faithful by it.​


Cairo​

The Caliph sent for the Pope and asked him if such a verse really existed. When Pope Abram had affirmed that it was the true word of our Savior and Redeemer, al-Muizz challenged him to prove it or would he subject the believers to the sword. The Pope asked for three days.​


St. Mary's Church in Babylon,
seat of the Coptic Pope in the 11th century​

He went directly to St. Mary's Church, which is called by the Muslims al Mu'allaqah, or "the Hanging Church," as it extends over one of the old gates to the city. His Holiness sent for bishops and priests and exhorted them to fast and pray for the duration of those three days. Before the dawn of the third day, the Pope, exhausted by grief and the long vigil which he had kept, dozed off. It was then that the Virgin Mary came to him in his sleep and besought him: "What is with you?" "My lady, you surely know what is happening," he replied. Whereupon, she comforted him and told him that if he went through the iron gate beneath the church which leads into the market, he would meet a one-eyed man carrying a sack of water. This is the man who would move the mountain, she said.​


The Pope hurried out in the early morning to do as the Holy Mother had said and there he met Simon the Tanner. He asked Simon what he was doing at this early hour, to which Simon replied that he was carrying water to the sick and the old who could not fetch theirs for themselves. He said this was his practice every morning – to carry on his back a sack of water for the needy – before going to work at a hide tannery. This too is the same Simon, or as it is sometimes given, Simeon, who had but one eye. For as our Lord hath said, "if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out," so had Simon done, when a young woman having her shoe repaired by him had raised her skirt and by so doing tempted him in the way of sin. But of this His Holiness yet knew nothing. When the Pope explained his purpose, Simon was reluctant at first but when he was told of the Pope's vision, he placed himself at his disposal.

The two led a large gathering of the faithful and marched to the Muqattam Mountain. Beside them were the Caliph and his minister who, inspired by the Enemy, had already incited many people against the faithful. Abram celebrated mass and the multitude chanted after him kyrie layson, pleading for God's mercy. They knelt down three times as the Pope made the sign of the cross with a sweeping gesture extending now to one end of the mountain and now to the other.​


The Church built at the scene of the Miracle​

And just so the mountain shook violently as if a strong earthquake had hit the land. Then it began moving upwards. Every time the worshippers rose from their prayers, the mountain lifted itself upwards. When they knelt down, it also came down with a big bang. This happened three times and every time the mountain moved upwards, the rays of the sun, which was behind it, swept through the space separating the earth from the mountain and became clearly visible to the assembled crowd.

At this awesome sight, al-Muizz proclaimed, "God is Great!" Turning to Pope Abram, he said, "This is enough to prove that your faith is true." Naturally, this miraculous event caused a tumult among the crowd. When order was re-established, Pope Abram looked for Simon, who had kept himself hidden behind the Pope throughout the prayers, but he was nowhere to be found.

Simon was never seen again and there are two versions of what befell him. Some hold that he was snatched away by an angelic host so that the Lord Himself could reward him for his humility. Others claim that Simon, fearing the praise of men, took himself away into the desert in order to protect himself from falling into the sin of vainglory. But God alone knows all things.​


What is called the former house of St. Simon the Tanner​

The Caliph, who was still shaking with fear, embraced the Pope warmly and this marked the beginning of a long friendship between the two. The Caliph asked the Pope to name his reward. After some hesitation, the Pope asked for permission to rebuild or renovate some churches, particularly that of St. Merkurios in Babylon in what is now old Cairo. That church, which was partly destroyed, was being used as a sugar warehouse. The Caliph offered funds from the state treasury for the reconstruction of the church but Abram turned him down. "He Whose Church we are building does not need the money of this world and is capable of helping us until we finish the job," Abram said.

Shortly after the miracle took place, al-Muizz decided to convert to Christianity. A baptismal font, big enough for the immersion of a grown-up man, was built for him in St. Merkurios Church. Although his progeny did not keep his faith but reverted to their former errors, this font continues to exist until the present day and is known as "Mamoudiat al-Sultan" which means the baptistry of the Sultan.
 
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A description of Nubia

[anchor=C2]
A Description of Nubia[/anchor]

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From the History of Makuria of His Holiness, Pope of Alexandria and Nubia Benjamin II (c. AD 1140):

The land which is now called Nubia is bound on the north by Egypt, to the east by the Red Sea and to the west by the great desert. To the south lies Ethiopia proper, although of old all of black Africa below Syene was called by that name. It comprises essentially the length of the Nile from the first cataract at Syene which is called Aswan to the fields beyond the confluence of the Blue and White Niles. The current races who rule here date from at least Ptolemios in the case of the Makuriai and Diocletian in the case of the Nobadiai, although both have since mingled with the races of Kush and Meroe.​


The ancients generally took the northward flow of the Nile to indicate that the world slopes downward as one travels from the south to the north, creating at various degrees the so-called climes, but this would not explain the southward flow of the rivers of India and Seres, which occur along the same parallels. It is more likely that in whatever place one is on earth, rivers, streams, all water merely runs itself from its springs downwards from the mountains, along whatever path should present itself. Why this should not flatten all lands is a mystery known to God; perhaps indeed it does: for is it not written that "every hill and mountain shall be made low" and "the rough places shall be made plain?"​


In whatsoever might be the case, the vale of the Nile presents nearly the only arable land within the entire region, within a narrow band between the cliffs around the river. The temperature is very hot nearly all the year and rainfall is likewise very scant, but the regular flooding as ordered by God our Provider maintains the yielding fertility of the soil. There are dates, palms, and cattle in enough abundance to feed those who live here, for as our Lord said of the fowls of the air, "yet your heavenly Father feedeth them and are ye not much better than they?"​


The wealth of the region and its power have always come from its mineral riches, for there is abundant gold to the east and iron in the south, yet early in the reign of Georgios III the mines had all been lost or abandoned because of the raiding of the Beja and mercenary Arabs. The state could not produce enough metal even to issue its own coinage, relying on barter or Arab dinars.​


For all intents and purposes, Dongola, 1066.

In days past, there was also a thriving trade between the goods of upper Africa such as war elephants, ivory, ostrich feathers and so forth for those of the lands of the Middle Sea, including linens, grain, and copper. Since the advent of Islam, however, Ethiopia and Egypt have largely ceased to trade and trade with the east occurs through the Sea of Weeds or overland through Mesopotamia rather than through the intercession of Nubia. As discussed elsewhere, however, the slave trade and the bakt brought in some foreign goods and currency.​


Nubia's even worse...
 
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unmerged(60841)

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The picture of Dongola circa 1066 is an amusing touch. I like the format, very interesting. Looking forward to more.
 

LlywelynII

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I'll reply early to nudge the count post closer to 25 so I won't have too many scenes and pictures on a single page. :) Maybe I'll use less detailed pics next time and how that goes.

JimboIX said:
The picture of Dongola circa 1066 is an amusing touch.
What's really amusing (or sad) is that that's what the area around Old Dongola looks like circa 2005. :wacko: Got it off a photojournal of a guy's trip through that part of the Sudan. There's a link through the pic, I think.

Jimbo said:
[Support.]
Thank you kindly :)

j.