Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Trivia regarding the Arabs

"It appears that the Saracens were descended from Ishmael, the son of Abraham, and were, in consequence, originally denominated Ishmaelites.  As their mother Hagar was a slave, they afterwards, to conceal the opprobrium of their origin, assumed the name of Saracens, as if they were descended from Sara, the wife of Abraham.  Such being their origin, they practice circumcision like the Jews, refrain from the use of pork, and observe many other Jewish rites and customs."  - Sozomen (400-450AD), The Ecclesiastical History

This history begins roughly with Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicaea and ends about the time of the Huns.  I should comment on this more, since I have read many histories of this period, but the flavor I get from reading an actual history is in conflict with what I have read from those that purport to be derived from the original sources on a number of important points.  A challenge here is that there are three original histories covering a similar period and a very large number of writings involving particular incidents, so that it is some work to have a working knowledge of what has been recorded.  Then there is the challenge of remembering and keeping sorted out what I have previously read.

But back to the note:  This reference being long prior to the founding of Mohammedanism, it should be of interest to anyone who studies the origin of what is now called Islam and how Islam relates to Christianity and Judaism.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Something in the grass

I have been working long hours at work, but finally had a chance to get back up the mountain.  Needing to respond to a few comments still.

The following picture was taken on my iPhone.  I wish I had been carrying the SLR.