The thirteenth century was one of those bright moments in the history of the world where it seemed that there was hope that joy and reason would triumph over the evils of the world. In these wonderful years before the Black Death, women owned and ran business, ruled nations, wrote poetry, military treatise and transformed the world through the dangerous idea of romantic love.
Within Christianity, Thomas Aquinas took the philosophy of Aristotle and Maimomides and refreshed Christian thought in the west, followers of Francis of Assisi were helping humanity to discover the holiness and special dignity of animals. The Holy Roman Empire had successfully resisted the Mongols and welcomed Jews into the Empire with open arms, letting them setup villages of their own and building walled ghettos to protect them from harm. Queen Blanche ruled France well in her husband's absence, celebrated by her contemporaries for her courage, wisdom and poetry.
Jewish thought and philosophy was flourishing in the wake of Maimomides and the publication of the Kabalah. With the recapture of Jerusalem by the Moslems, they once more could walk in their spiritual home and their merchants were warmly welcomed in Arabia.
The Islamic poet Mevlanna, known to us as Rumi, would emerge as one of the great voices of love. While the Caliphate was crumbling, the Fatimids in Egypt were emerging as a world power as were the Turks. In the crumbling castles of the Assassins, scholarship flourished and mathematics pushed to new heights.
India saw the emergence of the Bhaki reform of Sanātana Dharma (Hinduism) and the great teacher Madhva was welcomed both by the Hindu princes and the Moslem Sultans in Delhi as he traveled the subcontinent spreading a teaching and philosophy comparable to that of Thomas Aquinas in Europe.
Chronology and relevant information