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While from 600 BCE – 1450 CE Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam spread in various different methods such as violence and empires, it was also spread by the use of missionaries in some religions. This occurred mainly due to each religions desire to convert as many people as possible, and desire to expand the amount of territory influenced by the religion.
First and foremost, Christianity spread in two separate ways: one being missionaries and the next being empires. This is best delineated by documents 3,6, and 8. As portrayed by the map, one way Christianity expanded by the use of empires (doc. 3). Christian empires throughout 200 CE – 400 CE expanded into the Mediterranean and some of the regions surrounding the Black Sea. This shows that empires were a way that Christianity spread because by 400 CE it had reached approximately 1000 miles from its origin. This map (doc. 3) may include bias due to the fact that it only expresses the time period from 200 – 400, not from the spread from the origin of Christianity to 1450 CE. Pope Urban II, in 1895, describes another way that Christianity spread.
The quotes, “We visited the regions of Gaul and devoted ourselves largely to urging the Princes,” and “Bishop of Puy, the leader of the expedition,” show that another method used by Chrisitianity to spread was the use of missionaries (doc. 6). Also, key words such as “bishop” and “urging the princes” clearly defend that missionaries were a significant method for expanding. This document (doc. 6) seems to be valid due to the fact that in the historical context of the crusades, there were missionaries. Also, this claim is backed by the fact that the document is a primary source that increases the validity. Lastly, the disciple of St. Columba in 700 CE, adds to how Christianity was spread through the use of missionaries. In the document, Adoman states, “Monastic brotherhood.”
This clearly shows that he was referring to missionary type people and that Christianity was spread by it (doc 8).The document is most likely not valid since it wasn’t written by St. Columba himself so some of the details and such may be missing. In this group of documents, it would be provide a better insight if we were given with a primary or secondary source depicting how Christianity spread after 1150. This would provide a better insight because the three documents only cover from 200 – 700 CE (docs. 3,6,8). Furthermore, all of the documents were similar in the aspect that there were only two methods shown in the spread of Christianity: The use of missionaries (docs. 6, 8) and empires (doc. 3).
Islam from the time period of 600 BCE – 1450 was spread in one main way which is violence and brute force (docs. 1,2,7). John Harris Jones in his book History of the Conquest of Spain in 1858 shows how the Muslims (people of Islamic faith) used violence to spread Islam. Jones says, “Invaded and rapidly conquered” and “military expansion,” which shows clearly that Islam was spread due to the use of violence. In addition, the Umayyad’s established a dynasty that further spread Islam by the use of violence (doc 2). Document 2 may contain bias due to the fact that it was not written by someone of the Islamic faith so it might have over exaggerated the Islamic spread.
In 642, Al-Baladhari, describes the Arab conquest of Alexandria. He says that Amr used violence against the people who resisted. This is supported by the following quote derived from the document(1), “reduced the city by the sword and plundered all that was in it.” This clearly shows that violence was a key method used for the spread of Islam. Al-Baladhuri seems to be a reliable source due to the fact that he wrote it as a primary source in 642 CE. But, the document may have included bias since Al-Baladhari was of the Islamic faith himself. Finally, the Quran depicts the concept of jihad and its relation to the spread of Islam.
The Quran states, “And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.” This shows that the Muslims were instructed by their holy book to use Violence to spread their religion (Doc 7). This document is definitely reliable due to the fact that it is derived form the holy book of the Muslims. All of the documents depicting the methods of the spread of Islam are all common in some aspect, they all include violence (docs. 1, 2, 7). This assumption is backed by statements seen in each document: “Cities were plundered” (doc. 2), “Muslim expansion…..invaded an conquered rapidly” (doc 1), and “fight them until persecution is no more” (doc 7).
Buddhism was spread mainly by the expansion of empires, and empires in general. First and foremost, Reischemar describes the relationship between the T’ang empire and the spread of Buddhism from 618 – 907. This assumption is drawn from Reischemar’s book, Ennin’s Travels in T’ang China in 1455. In this he says, “Chinese Buddhism reached its highpoint of popularity and influence during the initial stages of the T’ang dynasty,” (doc 4). This brandishes how Buddhism was spread through empires.
This document is reliable because it provides correct dates and appropriate historical facts about the T’ang, also because it is a primary source it adds to the validity. Another example of the method of how Buddhism spread is proffered through document 5. As shown by the map, the places that had Hindu influence due to the empires was where Buddism spread. This is also supported by the fact that the Kushan Empire, c. 100, allowed for Buddhism to spread northeast into Pakistan and the other “stan” countries. Document 5 most likely is valid because it is a map and where in the key its states “Area under Hindu Influence” is historically accurate if compared with multiple other primary and secondary sources.
In conclusion, while from 600 BCE to 1450 CE, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam was spread using a variety of different methods such as violence and empires, other methods were also used such as missionaires. These methods were implicated by religions so each can fulfill their duties based upon the beliefs and teachings of their individual religion. Furthermore, the methods were adhibited to spread the religions as far as possible and to convert as many people as possible.