Filed under Moslem history

Undevilish Devil Worship

I am currently reading the wonderful book ‘Tribes with Flags’ by Charles Glass, about his travels in the region of Syria several decades ago. In view of present events, it has a particular resonance, and I wonder how much of what he wrote about still exists. This is his account to one of the Dead … Continue reading

Pirates of North Africa

When most of us think of pirates we either think of the Caribean or, the present dangers to international shipping in south East Asia or off the coast of Ethiopia, but for several centuries these islands were plagued by pirates from North Africa, called variously Algerian, Sallee or Moroccans. I think there is a mention … Continue reading

Making the Portugese Piggy in the Middle

Making the Portugese Piggy in the Middle

Following the execution of King Charles for treason, the king’s nephew Prince Rupert  became Lord High Admiral even though he was a soldier. He led a poorly equipped fleet crewed by English cavaliers and Irish adventurers but he had no safe port, so took to piracy. He sent Sir Arnold Delisle to the king of … Continue reading

The English Abroad

The English Abroad

The denizens of these islands have long had an awkward relationship with mainland Europe, perhaps more so during the Crusades when they were often on the rampage away from home. This is from Rose Macaulay’s book ‘the Went to Portugal’,  after a suggestion from the Pope that they could break their journey in Portugal. This … Continue reading

Reminding Leonardo

Reminding Leonardo

Next month, a list of things Leonardo da Vinci had to do goes on display at Buckingham Palace, London.  It dates from about 1510. For anyone hoping to become a Renaissance genius, you could try the following for starters: Get hold of a skull – no laboratory or home is complete without one, though be … Continue reading