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Stefan's Florilegium


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Assassins-msg - 1/24/02

A Moslem brotherhood of murderers created by Rashid ad-Din Sinan.

NOTE: See also the files: punishments-msg, Islam-msg, poison-art, poison-msg,
Janissaries-msg, Middle-East-msg, smoking-msg.


This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that
I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some
messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with
seperate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes
extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were
removed to save space and remove clutter.

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I
make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the
individual authors.

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these
messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this
time. If information is published from these messages, please give
credit to the orignator(s).

Thank you,
Mark S. Harris AKA: THL Stefan li Rous
mark.s.harris@motorola.com stefan@florilegium.org

Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 06:18:02 -0700
From: "Laura C. Minnick" <lcm@efn.org>
To: sca-cooks@ansteorra.org
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Catholic/Christian, was: The Fallwell/Robertson

Michael Newton wrote:
> HMMMMM that is strange because, ASSASSIN is a Muslim concept unknown to the
> West until the Crusades, at least as I was taught and read.

> > << You shall not suffer a sorceress to live." >>
> >
> > do you know, I have read this and researched it in various places and the
> > original text said "Thou shalt not suffer an ASSASSIN to live?"

The word 'assassin' comes from the same root as hashish- and the Story

During the Crusades, there was this guy who was remarkably like a
certain Saudi Multi-Millionaire who is currently suspected of pretty
nasty things. This guy (whose name is escaping me at the moment) was
known as The Old Man of the Mountain. He has a mountaintop lair, and
only his followers were allowed up there. There was a variety of people
who the Old Man didn't like, and periodically someone would show up
somewhere, wild-eyed, murder someone, and take off. Frederick II, Holy
Roman Emperor, survived at least one of these attacks.At least once the
murderer was caught and forced to give an explanation before he in turn
was executed. They said that they were brought to the Old Man, made to
swear fealty, then they were told that they were going to commit X
murder. To Inspire them, there were told that they would be given a
glimpse of the paradise awaiting them. Then they were drugged. (I forget
if this is where the hash comes in or later) Then when they woke, they
found themselves in a place with many beautiful and willing women,
luscious food of all kinds (including all sorts of opiates) and more
luxury thatn they could have imagined. Basically they got to have sex,
drugs, and rock and roll until they wore themselves out. When they awoke
again, they were back with the Old Man (what a shock!), who told them
that now it was time to do the deed and then they would again be in
paradise... most of them were killed by bodyguards and such, of

They came to be known as 'Hashashin'- hashish smokers (they may well
have been high when they did the murders too). And over the course of
time (there was an Old Man on the Mountain for a long time), the word
became assassin.

So folks, this is the extent of the usefulness of a degree in Medieval
Studies- answering arcane questions when I ought to be sleeping. Ain't
it wonderful.


From: "Daniel Phelps" <phelpsd@gate.net>
To: <sca-cooks@ansteorra.org>
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Catholic/Christian, was: The Fallwell/Robertson
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 10:29:58 -0400

>This guy (whose name is escaping me at the moment) was
>known as The Old Man of the Mountain.

Founder of the Brotherhood of Isma'ilites or "self-sacrificers", also
called Batinites literal translation "followers of esoteric doctrines".
Their leader was Rashid ad-Din Sinan. The assassination of Conrad of
Montferrat by Sinan's minions is recounted in the writings of Imad ad-Din,
Imad ad-Din, Ibn al-Athir, and Manaqib Rashid ad-Din. It is interesting
to note that all but the last author, he was of the sect, appear to consider
the sect to be heretics or at the very least very much less that orthodox.

Legend has it that there were three young students who made a pact should
one come to riches and power he would raise up the other two. One did so in
the service of the Sultan. The other two came to him and made their
requests which were indeed honored. One wanted a political position. In
time he engaged in plots, both against his friend and the Sultan, was found
out and fled saving only his life. He became "The Old Man of the Mountain".
The third student asked only for a position as poet and
astronomer/astrologer. He recieved it and a stipend. He was Omar, whose
poetry we still recite.

Like many legends history suggests otherwise.

Be that as it may IIRC Aga Khan is said to be the linear descendant of the
leadership of the Isma'ilites if not Sinan directly.

Daniel Raoul

From: hhrc@sbcglobal.net (Steven Currie)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Medieval Muslim Assasins Article
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2001 22:23:25 GMT

There was an excellent article in my local newspaper (San Diego Union)
on the Muslim assassins, of which the first 2/3 of the article was
about period history of the Muslim assassin cults.

Unfortuneately, because of the way their web site works, I cannot give
you a direct link to the article.

To access it:

Go To this Link:

Click on Opinion on the left hand side.

Go to the bottom of that page and click on Letters and more opinions
inside . . .

Then go to about the middle of that web page:
"The Assassins Revisited"

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker@worldnet.att.net>
To: <sca-cooks@ansteorra.org>
Subject: Re: Chocolate+Muslim
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2001 18:38:14 -0600

>Were the Ishmailis similar to the Hashshashin? Who
>gave us that wonderful word "assassin"?

The Ishmailis or Ismailis are an esoteric branch of the Shiites. The name
derives from Isma'il, the name of the the son of the sixth imam, Jafar (8th
Century). The Ishmailis are primarily Persian and it is believed the
"Assassins" were a cult of the Ishmaili. There is also a strong link
between the Ishmailis and Sufism.


<the end>

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