Friday, November 13, 2009

Blog Hasan

This week’s readings of Leo Africanus they talk alot about the character Hasan and we get to witness his journey as a trader. After returning home and finding that his father has died, he coontiunes on his journeys as a trader and on his travels to Tlemcen. He waits for Nur and as he is waiting he sees the ottoman patrol bring in a local governor from a a connecting providence. The Ottoman patrol decided to publically hang the man and the man did not submit any emotion and took the death silently. The rope broke three times and then it worked and the man was finally hanged. On a boat back to Tunis a child runs into a soldier. Hasan saves/helps the child out and the soldiers let him go, because the boy had the same name as his son, who he hasn’t seen in months. I found it interesting that the soldiers during this time were not far from soldiers of our time when it came to compassion. Instead of killing the boy or anything like that it showed that soldiers still had feelings and longed for their family while out during war times. I would like to see more examples of the soldiers struggle against their orders given. Like did they kill everyone or did they have any compassion for some people. I would like to see the "human" side of the soldier. My question is why was death not a big deal during this time and why people took death so easy?.....It seems that way but maybe they were secretly suffering inside? idk


  1. This blog brought up some very interesting points. I was amazed by all of the tragedy and death Hasan came across during his journey. It made me question if all civilization was this brutal during this time and if tragedy was a normal component of people's lives. The hanging especially was hard for me to read. The act itself is very grusome and de-humanizing, but the fact that fail after fail, they kept torturing the man until his death was successful. I was relieved, however, when I read about Hasan's encounter with the boy and the soldier. The fact that Hasan put himself in danger and sacrificed his own life to help the child was very praiseworthy, and made me feel that even if tragedy was common to people during this time, it did not strip them all of their compassionate. This notion was reinforced when the soldier allowed Hasan to help the child and let them both go free, because he could have easily (and probably should have duty-wise) kept them both captive or even killed them. To me, this reading demonstrated that even in the lowest, most trying of times, humans are inclined to protect one another and often demonstrate compassion. I personally think that this human quality is genetically founded and acts to help the human race survive.

  2. Society in Hasan's times was obviously very different from that of today's. I found the level of death very alarming. Execution was such a typical almost daily action, it seems tragedy was everywhere. I wondered the same thing, why it didn't seem to be such a big deal. Perhaps it's because their focus on religion and high level of morals. Morality was held high in their society and there wasn't much leniency for those who didn't act as they should. The high demand for this may have justified the ruthless punishments. I think religion may have also played a part in it. I looked a bit further into Islam and death was predestined by Allah and after death was Paradise (or hell if you sinned terribly like not believing or lying) so death could not have been frowned upon if it was unavoidable and led to a better place. Also, the level of death and executions was so high, that people must have become used to it and numb to the degree of tragedy it was.