The Fall of Caliph Uthman

Uthman was the third caliph: the third religious and political successor to the Prophet Muhammad. Uthman’s rule was contentious, his downfall ugly. It’s a fascinating case study and a terrible tragedy. The last months of his reign saw at least three factions battling for control of his empire, but all the politics was done on […]

Ibn Battuta’s Maldivian Coup Plot

We’ve talked twice before about Ibn Battuta, the medieval Moroccan traveler. This time, we’re going to talk about his adventures in the Maldives, a paradisiacal tropical archipelago south of India. In the Maldives, Ibn Battuta got pressed into service as an Islamic judge, let his bad attitude get him into political trouble, and plotted a […]

Wild Adventures Mapping the Khorasan Border

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The Heretic Vendetta

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Montaillou: The Spy-Infested Anthill Village

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The Florentine Architecture Feud

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Talking the Tsembaga out of War

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The Court of the Khan

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The Bizarre Court-Martial of Francesco Caracciolo

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The Ethiopian Sepulcher Letters

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The Hungarian Crown Heist

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A Bambara Tale of Fate and Succession

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Carving Up Spain

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NPCs in Wooden Screens: the Duein Fubara

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The Lies of Leopold

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