Born in present day Algeria, Tariq Ibn Ziyad was one of the most important military figures in the history of the Iberian Peninsula. In 711 AD as a deputy under the command of Ibn Musa Nusair, Tariq led an army into Iberia as the first attack on present day Spain and Portugal. A nobleman named Julian the commander of a Visigothic outpost in Cueta, became unlikely allies with Tariq. Julian sent his daughter to the court of the King of Spain to receive an education. Instead Julian’s daughter was raped by Roderick the King. Enraged by the incident, Julian partnered with Tariq to bring down Julian’s kingdom.
In April of 711 AD, Tariq led his army to what is now known as Gibraltar. The name “Rock of Gibraltar” derived from the Arabic name Jabal al Tariq; meaning rock of Tariq. The “Straights of Gibraltar” were also named after Tariq, the Moore who conquered Spain. Tariq’s army consisted of 12,000 soldiers and they met the Army of Roderick containing 100,000 soldiers at the Battle of Guadelete.
Before battle Tariq gathered his troops and delivered one of history’s most motivating and soul stirring sermons; The Breath of Perfume. “If I perish after this, I will have had at least the satisfaction of delivering you, and you will easily find among you an experienced hero, to whom you can confidently give the task of directing you. But should I fall before I reach to Roderick, redouble your ardor, force yourselves to the attack and achieve the conquest of this country, in depriving him of life. With him dead, his soldiers will no longer defy you.”
Tariq’s army defeated Roderick and his army killing Roderick during battle. Julian advised Tariq to split his army into several divisions. This strategy allowed them to capture cities such as Cordoba, Granada, Toledo and Guadalajara. After Tariq and his allies captured Spain he became the Governor of Hispaniola. He would govern the land until the arrival of Musa Nusair. In 714 AD both Tariq and Musa were ordered to return to Damascus where they lived until their final days. Tariq was a man who said to have been a slave that rose to conquer Iberia. Tariq conquering Iberia was the beginning of the 700 year Moorish rule of Spain. The Moors did not just conquer Spain they revitalized Europe out of the dark ages. A historical figure we never learned about in our history lesson lives on in the essence of history. Europe owes Tariq and the Moors for giving it life once again. Tariq Ibn Ziyad, We stand on your shoulders.
J. A. Ward.
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A commoner by birth and the son of an architect, Imhotep became one of the most phenomenal and most talked about individuals of antiquity. He served under Pharaoh Djoser of the Third Dynasty as High Priest, Chancellor, Chief Architect, Scribe, Engineer, Physician, along with many other titles. He is considered the first architect, physician and genius in history. Imhotep was the master mind behind the building of the first pyramid, the step pyramid at Saqqara.
As one of the few commoners to ever be given divine status after his death, he was worshiped as a god for 3,000 years in Greece and Rome due to his talents and contributions. He is credited as the author of the Edwin Smith Papyrus which describes over 90 anatomical terms and 48 injuries. Imhotep founded a school of medicine known as “Asklepion”, which remained famous for 2,000 years, and he did so 2,200 years before the so called Greek “father of medicine”, Hippocrates, ever existed. He was commonly known as the first figure of a physician, to stand out clearly from the mists of antiquity. Imhotep diagnosed and treated over 200 diseases, including 15 of the abdomen, 11 of the bladder, 10 of the rectum, 29 of the eyes, and 18 of the skin.
He performed surgery and practiced dentistry and was knowledgeable of the positions and functions of the organs as well as the circulation of the blood system. As a historic and medical figure, temples were erected and dedicated to him in Greece, which were turned into centers of medical teachings; he was also identified as the Greek God of medicine, Aesculapius. Imhotep was so profound that he is even incorporated into today’s modern doctors Hippocratic Oath which states, “I swear by Apollo the physician, by Aesculapius, Hygeia, and Panacea, and take into witness all the gods and goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following oath”…..
Imhotep gave the world a multitude of gifts which we still use today. Medical practitioners throughout history owe Imhotep a debt of gratitude. Architects throughout history owe Imhotep a debt of gratitude. This one man set the foundation for a future even he possibly could not dream of. Arguably one of the most influential people in the history, this Egyptian born multi genius gave the world the template for building Pyramids and other massive structures which are still erected and reflected today. Imhotep we stand on your shoulders.
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The fifth Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty and regarded as the greatest pharaoh of the 18th dynasty; Hatshepsut reigned longer than any woman of any of the Indigenous Kemetian (Egypt) Dynasties. Born of royal lineage in 1508 BC in Ancient Kemet the daughter of Tuthmose I and Aahmes; Hatshepsut was destined to become great. With the death of her two brothers and the death of her father, Hatshepsut was favored to become Pharaoh, but Tuthmose II ascended to the throne after his father. Tuthmose II only served for three years after dying because of a skin disease. Hatshepsut became Queen Dowager; although Tuthmose III was in line to become Pharaoh he was too young.
After gaining control of the reigns in Kemet, Hatshepsut had to be smart enough to keep her control. Her Nephew Tuthmose III was becoming older and wanted to rule; Hatshepsut used propaganda ad keen political skills to remain in power. To decrease fear among her people Hatshepsut made herself Pharaoh in all statuary and relief during her twenty year reign. Dressing as a Pharaoh she even wore the beard the Pharaohs wear; she also gave the people of Kemet fifteen years of no war. Hatshepsut was widely known for her expeditions to the land of Punt in search of Ivory, animals, spices, gold and aromatic trees. With no war she was able to expand the kingdoms economic power and restored the Monuments of Kemet and Nubia.
During her reign the 18th dynasty prospered as great as any other dynasty. Hatshepsut as a female ruler boosted Kemet’s reputation as an Economic power in the ancient world. Upon dying in 1458 BC Hatshepsut’s memory was being erased by Tuthmose III, which was believed to be spurred by his grudge he held for her. Despite the destruction to the memory of the great female Pharaoh, her memory lives today because of her great reign as a Pharaoh which caused Kemet to prosper for twenty peaceful years. Hatshepsut was the blueprint for female power and dignity; she gave the female ruler prestige and respect. Pharaoh Hatshepsut we stand on your shoulders.
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