The chosen image for from the Christian religious illuminated manuscript existing in the Early Medieval period with dates ranging from 400-100 CE is that of St. Luke, an evangelist who lived during the 6th century. During the Medieval period, nations faced various issues such that Kings and Emperors were not that much powerful. As such, as they demanded their subjects to abide by certain specifications, their subjects could not only say “No,” but also they could not pay any attention. Nations had to come up with different methods to assist the King in the ruling. For example, the European governments employed feudalism in an attempt to aid the king to keep control, but the system often led to added problems.
Other nations such as the Italian republics could engage themselves in multiple civil wars where there were no agreements among opponents. Unlike the government, the period that existed between 600-1000 CE marked the specialization of Christian culture according to different Christianity groups that existed. The significant interest that characterized the Early Medieval period is the development of common culture among different groups in Europe (Pluskowski and Philippa 36). As such, Christians in Europe had a common value that separated them from other groups as well as the Islamic religion.
It is worth noting that the image from the Christianity religion under discussion aligns with Christianity beliefs such that the painting St. Luke as well as other individuals who can be seen sitting together for a common value. The Christianity population especially those across Europe emphasized on the creation of peace among the groups allowing them to develop common interest, which is evident in the image. Moreover, the image appears to be specific in presenting the views of the administration or the leaders who commissioned the production of the manuscript in that they also aimed at peace creation. Governments at this time focused on keeping individuals in control so that they can aid in the development of the nation.
This image from the illuminated Islamic manuscript depicts a painting of the Baghdad by the Mongols. The picture shows a group of the Baghdad population engaging in a war. Noteworthy, after the reign of the Abbasids, substitutes to the social and political structures filled the vacuum. The Sufi religious institutions being one of the substitutes were accountable for the thousands of conversions in the Sub-Saharan and South East Asia (Drocourt 40). Cases of conversion from other religions were multiple across all religious groups. However, as the process appeared to be troublesome, the Islamic faith assimilated to an existing religious tradition.
As the Muslim took charge, they employed various methods to ensure their expansion with engagement in military conquest, trade, and pilgrimage being their primary strategy to ensure their expansion. Therefore, the period that existed between 600 – 1000 CE was characterized by various wars that evolved from the Muslim population. Hence, it is ideal to claim that the image from the Islamic manuscript reflects their culture in that Muslims prioritized war as a tool to convince individuals to convert from other religions to Christianity. The image also aligns with the Islamic style from the clothes that individuals portrayed in the image are putting on to the mode of transportation they are using as well as the activity they are engaging themselves. Considering the political state characterizing the world during the time this image from an Islamic manuscript was commissioned or produced, it is ideal to claim that the image reflects the administration or leaders who ensured its creation. The Islamic leaders or administration at this time focused on converting individuals from other religions to Islamic.
- Drocourt, Nicholas. “Christian-Muslim diplomatic relations. An overview of the main sources and themes of encounter (600-1000).” Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History. Volume 2 (900-1050). Brill, 2010. 29-72.
- Khan Academy a. “Medieval Manuscripts.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy, www.khanacademy.org/humanities/medieval-world/medieval-europe/a/medieval-manuscripts.
- Khan Academy b. “The Rise of Islamic Empires and States.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy, www.khanacademy.org/humanities/world-history/medieval-times/spread-of-islam/a/the-rise-of-islamic-empires-and-states.
- Pluskowski, Aleksander, and Philippa Patrick. “„How Do You Pray to God?‟: Fragmentation and Variety in Early Medieval Christianity.” Carver, The Cross Goes North (2003): 29-57.