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Faithles medieval rulers.

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Kalevipoeg View Drop Down
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  Quote Kalevipoeg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Faithles medieval rulers.
    Posted: 29-Nov-2005 at 15:02
I hope this heretic topic differs from the other one, i think it does.
Name me some medieval rulers in Europe who were utter atheists, proud God deniers in who the pope and even the people saw a good christian. The ruler should be from an area where christianity had strong roots before, so no 7th - 11th century barbarian heretic warlords who returned to paganism or were savouring it. I'd like a king, most preferably from about the 12th - 15th centuries, when christianity was strong across Europe. He doesn't have to be the king of France, but not  of a meaningless dutchy either. German small states will work too... many of those are "meaningless dutchies" i now think, but who cares, i'll let those pass too.

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Decebal View Drop Down
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  Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Nov-2005 at 15:49

What about Frederick II "Stupor Mundi", the Holy Roman Emperor? I believe that he was a declared atheist, but the people loved him. Of course, he was also excomunicated twice and the pope Gregory IX called him "the Antichrist"...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_II,_Holy_Roman_Empero r

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  Quote Frederick Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Nov-2005 at 15:55
Originally posted by Decebal

What about Frederick II "Stupor Mundi", the Holy Roman Emperor? I believe that he was a declared atheist, but the people loved him. Of course, he was also excomunicated twice and the pope Gregory IX called him "the Antichrist"...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_II,_Holy_Roman_Empero r

Yeah, but I believe he was actually over-religious, to the point of believing he was the true Messiah.

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  Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Nov-2005 at 16:05

According to Wikipedia,

Frederick II was a religious sceptic. He is said to have denounced Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad as all being frauds and deceivers of mankind. He delighted in uttering blasphemies and making mocking remarks directed toward Christian sacraments and beliefs. Frederick's religious scepticism was most unusual for the era in which he lived, and to his contemporaries, highly shocking and scandalous. In his period in Jerusalem, this behaviour was much to the dislike of the Muslims too, who grew mistrustful of a Christian which was not a Christian.

Besides his great tolerance (which, however, did not apply to Christian heretics), he had an unlimited thirst for knowledge and learning. To the horror of his contemporaries, he simply did not believe things that could not be explained by reason. So he forbade trials by ordeal on the firm conviction that in a duel the stronger would always win, whether he was guilty or not. Also, it can be forgotten amidst the general enthusiasm over his book on falconry releases frequently that he also wrote a scientific book about birds or that many of his laws continue to affect life down to the present day, such as the prohibition on physicians acting as their own pharmacists. This was a blow at the charlatanism under which physicians diagnosed dubious maladies and also at the same time in order to sell a useless, even dangerous "cure".

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Komnenos View Drop Down
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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Dec-2005 at 05:08
Couldn't think of any other than Frederik II either, so I searched around a bit, and came up with the following atheists, although not all in the Christian spere:

"Abd-Er-Rahman III (891-961)

The greatest of the Moslem Arab Caliphs, who raised Spain from a state of profound demoralization to one of unprecedented prosperity, culture and brilliance while Christian Europe lay in the darkest phase of the Dark Age. It was from the splendor of his empire that civilization was rekindled in France, then in Europe generally. See S.P. Scott's Moorish Empire in Europe (3 vols. 1904) Scott piously deplores his "infidelity" and sensuality and then describes his magnificent work in lyrical language. Stanley Lane Poole (The Moors in Spain, 1897) also says that he created a civilization "such as the wildest imagination can hardly conjure up." He defied the Koran all his life and was clearly an atheist.

Manfred (1232-1266), King of Sicily.

Natural son of Frederic II (See) who took over the Kingdom as Regent when Frederic died and refused to yield it to the Pope. When the legitimate heir died he assumed the rule in defiance of the Popes who summoned the French to crush him. The Florentine historian Villani says that he was a notorious skeptic but a very gifted prince of high ideals (Istorie Florentine, V1 p. 46): a verdict with which modern historians agree. "

John I Lackland, English King (1199-1216).

John may not have been a bonafide atheist, but he moved farther in that direction than was common in medieval times. From the biography, Eleanor of Aquitaine (John's mother) by Alison Weir, p. 234: "John's bad press in the monastic chronicles may be attributed to his failures as a king *and his cynical contempt for religion*; he quarrelled with the Church during his reign and was excommunicated. 'He led such a dissipated life that he ceased to believe in the resurrection of the dead and other articles of the Christian faith...'(Medieval chroniclers Roger of Wendover and Matthew Paris; quoted in Weir). Once, upon seeing a buck slaughtered, at the end of a hunt, remarked 'You happy beast, never forced to patter prayers nor dragged to Holy Mass.'" (Paris, in Weir).
"




From

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/joseph_mccabe/dic tionary.html

Edited by Komnenos
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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Dec-2005 at 08:57

Ladislaus IV. of Hungary the Cuman (1262-1290). Actually he wasn't an atheist, but he didn't venerate the Church and usually spent his time amongs his Cuman subjects.


Once he attacked a monastery in order to free his sister who was a nun there, but she prefered his Bohemian lover to Jesus.


He even threten the Pope to ally Hungary to the Mongols and destroy Rome itself.


In 1288 Pope Nicholas IV. even ordered a crusade against him, but he was murdered in 1289.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladislaus_IV_of_Hungary


The court of Ladislaus the Cuman a lithography of the painting of Soma Orlai Petrics:






Image resized by Kom.

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  Quote azimuth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Dec-2005 at 09:27

Originally posted by Komnenos

Couldn't think of any other than Frederik II either, so I searched around a bit, and came up with the following atheists, although not all in the Christian spere:

"Abd-Er-Rahman III (891-961)

The greatest of the Moslem Arab Caliphs, who raised Spain from a state of profound demoralization to one of unprecedented prosperity, culture and brilliance while Christian Europe lay in the darkest phase of the Dark Age. It was from the splendor of his empire that civilization was rekindled in France, then in Europe generally. See S.P. Scott's Moorish Empire in Europe (3 vols. 1904) Scott piously deplores his "infidelity" and sensuality and then describes his magnificent work in lyrical language. Stanley Lane Poole (The Moors in Spain, 1897) also says that he created a civilization "such as the wildest imagination can hardly conjure up." He defied the Koran all his life and was clearly an atheist.

From

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/joseph_mccabe/dic tionary.html

i checked the link and its not giving any more info .

so its not clear what S.P. Scott's Moorish Empire in Europe (3 vols. 1904) has to show that Abdulrahman was an infidel

anyway from Britannica,

The consolidation of power brought great prosperity to Muslim Spainone indication of which was his building of a mint where pure gold and silver coins were struck. ʿAbd al-Raḥmn was alsoa great builder; he renovated and added considerably to the Great Mosque at Crdoba and to the royal palace. At vast expense he built a new royal city, Madnat al-Zahrʾ, to house his household and government. He kept a very strict control over the affairs of state and his civil service, changing his governors frequently to avoid the growth of local dynasties. In 949 he executed his own son for conspiring against him.

Christian and Jewish communities flourished during ʿAbd al-Raḥmn's tolerant reign. His fame spread so far beyond his domains that Crdoba by the end of his reign enjoyed almost as much fame as Constantinople in the Mediterranean world. In Crdoba he received emissaries from such distant rulers as Otto I of Germany and the Byzantine emperor. Crdoba was said to have contained 3,000 mosques and more than 100,000 shops and houses. His reign, the second longest of any Muslim caliph, afforded his wise and courageous policies the fullest chance of development.

doesnt look like he was an infidel, building mosques and stuff.

 

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Komnenos View Drop Down
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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Dec-2005 at 14:12
Originally posted by azimuth

doesnt look like he was an infidel, building mosques and stuff.




I should indeed put have a health warning about the reliability of the source to my post.
I do not know much about Abd- Er Rahman, to judge one way or the other.
Maybe the author, with a good dash of wishful thinking, just confused Abd-Er Rahmans undisputed religious tolerance with the absence of a distinct religious belief. However, that a ruler actively promotes the pre-dominant religion of his people, by building places of worship for them, does not necessarily mean, that he himself believes in this religion.
Many Popes, especially the Renaissance ones, are a good example for that.
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  Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Dec-2005 at 15:26

Mehmed II is a big hero of the Islamists in Turkey. In fact, although he wasn't an atheist (I doubt anyone was before the enlightenment), he wasn't that religious. Some think he was a Christian or considered converting to Christianisy in return for the right to the Roman throne. I personally think he was a Muslim, but an before that an ambitious ruler with a vision of empire, and would have changed his religion if he thought that move would benefit him.

I'll literally translate a few couplets by him [my comments in brackets]:

One who sees Galata [a district of Istanbul where Christians lived], won't care about the highest Paradise [blasphemy!]

 

One who sees that lovable cypress [common metaphor for a tall and graceful person], won't care about the cypress itself

 

One who drinks the clear wine she drinks [I am assuming he is writing about a woman since it could be a man as well, Sultans would f**k both sexes], won't talk about Kevser [this is the name of a holy pond, and its super holy water, in paradise according to Quran. As we can see, he practically says wine is better than holy water from paradise]

 

One who sees the church she goes to, won't go to the mosque ever again. [quite clear]

 

Tsk tsk that doesn't sound very Islamic to me.  No wonder his poems not as popular as Suleyman's.

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Dec-2005 at 16:12
It doesn't seem that Abd el-Rhaman III was outstandingly atheist but he was the most tolerant of all Umayyad emirs and caliphs of Spain (he bore the two titles sequentially). Being 75% Basque (son of a Basque slave and grandson of a Pamplonese princess) he could well be agnostic or unclearly theist, possibly disregarding the diferences between religions in his personal faith. His more emphasized attributes are his pragmatism, method and tolerance. Being a pragmatic in a Muslim-dominated nation he could not do other thing that adhering to the official faith (Sunni Islam) but, also because his pragmatism, being Al Andalus strongly inhabited by people of other faiths (Catolicism and Judaism), he had to be tolerant as well. Posibly in his skepticism towards religious matter we can find more reasons for "usurpating" or "recovering" the title of Caliph, title that anyhow had already other claimants among the African Fatimids (Shia) and the "legitimate" Abbasids of Baghdad. 

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