Roman Empire



After the fall of the Roman Empire, the struggles to gain power over the middle east continued between the Europeans and the Muslims. Religious ideology was used as an instrumental (or an excuse) to defend and fight for the rights to gain and own new territories during that time, The Roman catholic pope and the orthodox church (from the Byzantium Empire) collaborated in an attempt to gain control over Syria, Egypt, and Palestine that resulted in a series of two-century crusades. It was these crusades that became a contributing factor for the Europeans exposure to the Islamic world. Historians are almost unanimous that Islamic civilization came in contact with the Christian European west during the medieval times'', (Banitalebi et al, 2012). 

 Although the crusades ended with the victory of the Muslims, Europe benefited largely from the victors. The long- lasting crusades that started in 1095 CE and ended in 1291 CE allowed enough time for the Europeans to learn the wealth of knowledge from the Muslims. Fascinated by the variety of species of plants, and flowers, the European learned the agriculture practices found throughout Egypt, Syria, and Mesopotamia, including the use of manure, irrigation system, leaving the fallow land, and disease and pests (Monro, n.d). cotton pomegranates, saffron, madder, Sumach, Camomile, roses and morning glory, and many types of vegetables were introduced to the Europeans during the time of crusades (Monro, n.d) The European development of commerce was also influenced by the crusades. After the series of crusades, the influx of Eastern goods was imported to Europe through the Mediterranean, bringing wealth to the Italian maritime city- states. Genoa and Venice were major participants in the Mediterranean trade and the Levant trade. The economic revolution and cash flow generated by the trades led to the development of cities and urbanization growth of the middle class. The crusades, notwithstanding the cause, created economic growth and ended in Renaissance (Banitalebi et al, 2012) for the Europeans.

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