Caravaggio and the Knights of St John: A Strange Relationship

Caravaggio and the Knights of St John

In July AD 1607, at the age of 38, Michaelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio, was invested as a Knight of the Order of St John of Malta.

At the time he was on the run from the Italian authorities, having committed murder.  It might seem strange that he should join a Religious Order that was dedicated to Holiness, celibacy and unquestioned obedience to the Grand Master.

The Magnificence of the Mughals

TAJ Mahal India

For almost 300 years, between 1526 and 1858, the Mughals, a Muslim dynasty, ruled most of the Indian subcontinent.

Their leaders came from Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Holy Roman Empire: Power, Politics and the Papacy

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Voltaire famously said that ‘the Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy, nor Roman nor an Empire’.

In this he was right. How then did this ‘federation’ of European principalities and kingdoms with no imperial city and constantly shifting alliances and boundaries, come to be described as such?  Furthermore, how did it manage to survive for some 1,000 years?

The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire

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The Ottoman Empire lasted from AD 1299 until AD 1923; a period of over six hundred years.

For much of this time the entire region of the Eastern Mediterranean came under Ottoman Muslim rule. The first three centuries were a time of energy and expansion.

From the Medes to the Mullahs: a History of Iran

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The history of Iran, or Persia, is rich and complex.

 It is a history that is perhaps unknown, forgotten or ignored by many people who look at today’s Islamic Republic of Iran.