Dark Ages

A period of chaos, destruction, and rebuilding that lasted from the fall of Rome in 476 C.E. to the emergence of stable Germanic kingdoms in the ninth century. Specifically, the Dark Ages are often said to have ended in 800 C.E., when Charlemagne was crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor.


The methods of a leader who gains power over people through impassioned appeals to their emotions and prejudices.


A system of government based on principles of social equality and majority rule where political power is exercised either by the people directly or through elected representatives.


To remove a leader from office or power, sometimes through use of force.

desalination (desalinization)

The process of removing salt from saltwater to produce water suitable for humans to drink.


From the Greek word meaning "dispersion," the term often refers to the communities of Jews living outside the region of Palestine and Israel.


The reduction or elimination of a country's military forces and weaponry.


A religion that broke away from Islam in about 1000 C.E., following the teachings of Darazi, Hamza ibn Ali ibn Ahmad, and Baha El-Din. Druze refer to themselves as Mowahhidoon, which means "monotheistic" in Arabic. The Druze religion retains many Islamic symbols and celebrates Ramadan, but also incorporates tenets of other belief systems. The religion is officially secret, and Druze themselves do not actively attempt to convert new members. Large Druze minorities live in Israel, Syria, and Lebanon; there are other communities in Jordan, the Americas, and Australia.


A family that retains political power over several generations.