We’ve Missed A Conspiracy Theory!

Reading one day the memoirs of ‘Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani (as one does), I was greatly struck by a passage about the Christian agitation for the Third Crusade. He has just described how some knights, being captured and relieved of their armour, were found to be female – an aspect of the wars that deserves to be better known in itself. He then continues, “…and everywhere was full of old women. These were sometimes a support and sometimes a source of weakness. They exhorted and incited men to summon their pride, saying that the Cross imposed on them the obligation to resist to the bitter end, and that the combatants would win eternal life only by sacrificing their lives, and that their God’s sepulchre was in enemy hands.” In other words, the Christian old women were running the “Let’s You and Him Fight” program, sending their menfolk to die fighting the hired security of the Muslim old women – although al-Isfahani does not talk about the crones on his own side. So why old women particularly? Perhaps because they had outlived their own men and so had nothing to fear from a bloodbath, perhaps because like many before and after them they got fanatically religious only in their old age, only after the business of sex was safely done with.

We thus owe to this writer a new theory, which I propose to call “The Little-Old-Lady Theory of History”. Like Miss Marple, little old ladies can be more dangerous than they look, and are so often underestimated. Let us therefore cease to pay attention in our history only to heroic hunky men and sultry beauties, and begin to consider Little Old Ladies as one of the engines of events. Who knows what surprises might be awaiting us? Remember, you read it here first.

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 10:42 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Thugs In Armour

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