On this day: Baghdad fell to the Mongols in 1258

The Siege of Baghdad ended on the 10th of February, 1258.

The Mongols began the siege on the 29th of January, and it was characterised by many atrocities, including the mass murder of civilians.

The siege is considered to mark the end of the Islamic Golden Age.

Illustration circa 1430

Mongols besieging Baghdad in 1258 circa 1430

A page from the Book of Kells

This page from the Book of Kells (ca. 800 AD) shows the text that opens the Gospel of John.

When I saw this book in Ireland, I was the only person there. It was a miserable, rainy day heading towards winter and wherever the tourists who flock to Dublin are, they weren’t there! It’s silly, but it felt pretty special to be in there by myself, to view such a famous book!

450px-KellsFol292rIncipJohnThe Book of Kells, (folio 292r), circa 800, showing the lavishly decorated text that opens the Gospel of John