Byzantium transferred a data dump to the West, sparking a bunch of translations

I think the centers of progress post-Rome were in Byzantium and then between Byzantium + Persia. But the balances began to shift post 11th century as Persia gained military power but began to lose intellectual power and Byzantium started losing military power and political clout.

Thankfully before one final military attack, Byzantium transferred a data dump to the West, sparking a bunch of translations that fed into the growing European University system leading straight to the Rennaisance.

====

Oh I don’t consider it forcible. This guy along with his team from Byzantium really deserve proper credit (as does the head of Constantiple for having the foresight to send them over) – in bringing classical greek secular knowledge to Europe where previously only the folks in Constantiple and Persia got to enjoy it.

I suspect it was part of a peace offering in hopes of unity but the theological differences between East and West grew too large for the Council of Florence to be effective in its stated purpose.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemistus_Pletho

===

Yeah I noticed the “shift” he makes. First talks about the 1000 year period then focused on a post 11th century period, THEN a post 13th century period while implying that period stretched for the whole 1000 years by still referring to it as “dark ages”.

=====

This fictional history movie from a creative mind making a “hero movie” for Turkey, shows yet _another_ perspective of this time frame.

I cringed through the gross historical inaccuracies but it wasn’t really much worse than some of the ‘historical movies’ coming out of the Hollywood over the past 10 yrs or so.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSmEMqC6kUs&nohtml5

—-

It really was. I found an English copy (either dubbed or captioned — I usually use captions so I don’t notice whether something is dubbed or not and can’t remember) – but Youtube has since taken it down. I’m sure it’s easy enough to find a full version of it in English. Worth sitting through if for no other reason to see another point of view.

====

The inquisition method is both ancient and still in common use. Traffic courts in the USA for example use an inquisition system rather than adversarial.

It just sounds awful due to some of the abuses by early modern inquisitions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquisitorial_system

=====

Most of our received “BBC” style history mushes together Spanish Inquisition, Salem Witch Trials, Gallileo’s house arrest into a muddled slam against religion. But when you take the historical events separately, you can see it wasn’t some massive horrid campaign.

 

====

Indeed. This is why I refer to it as “BBC history”. Britain invented the concepts of “Dark Ages” and “Middle Ages” and taught history that way for a very long time. America based their materials on theirs.

It’s only relatively recently (past 30 years or so) that *some* better history has become incorporated into modern education. But persistent myths persist even now.

====

I think that’s why I enjoy comparing narratives. My exposure to the Eastern Orthodox in my mid-late 20s opened my eyes to a non America/BBC history, focused with Greece/Constaninople/Russian centers, showing me that not everything I was taught was exactly so.

I’ve since filled in with some perspectives from medieval Islamic perspectives as well. I’m missing Chinese perspective in my viewpoints but *someday* I’ll fill that in as well.

====

Dude, the Globe with the Cross on top has been used since Christian antiquity to symbolize Christ over the Earth.

It wasn’t a cross on a flat plane but on a globe. The Earth. They knew.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globus_crucige

—-

You have to erase the bad narrative about “they believed the earth was flat” out of your mind. It’s an ahistorical, incorrect narrative. I’m not speaking about the rest of what you said but as far as the “Earth is Round”, it’s been known since antiquity, despite some flights of fancy from a few artists here and there.

====

Yeah, if you go through history, you’ll find temperance in meat and drink, good sleeping habits and such as pretty common in most cultures. Probably because humans are engineered pretty much the same as we’ve always been, so we have similar requirements that each culture will eventually trip over.

====

That’s abuses of moral relativism you’re talking about. It’s still useful to judge a culture by their own standards. If we only use our OWN lens to view history with, we’ll end up with a very narrow telescope to the past.

====

How can you judge a culture from 800 years ago based upon 21st century values when they didn’t have the BENEFIT of the past 800 years?

If you want to judge TODAY’S cultures by today’s standards? Go ahead.

====

For example you can judge the values of the bad period of the Inquisition by comparing it to *previous* related cultures.

You can judge them using their OWN values from their own past.

You can judge them by Byzantine standards as that was contemporary (and part of their own past).

You can compare them to other cultures they had contact with to see if they made the best out of available choices.

As far as today’s cultures go? If they have access to information (they do) and continue to commit human rights violations (they do), then they deserve condemnation. Otherwise, they deserve education.

====

Example: If a member state of the United Nations is committing Human Rights violations, they have no excuse.

If they have access to the internet, they have no excuse.

That’s two examples.

=====

There’s a type of Christians that come from the Calvinist line of the Protestant Reformation that believe in a legalistic sense. [I wasn’t raised in that line but in the non-Calvinist line].

My aunt was one. Presbyterian.

My mother once asked her, “So, you believe that a child born in the jungles of the poorest part of Africa that never heard of Christ is going to hell?”

My aunt said, “Yes”, without blinking an eye.

That’s the level of condemnation you bring upon the world.

—–

If they’re current (2017) and have access to information, then have no excuse to commit human rights violations TODAY.

===

You’re mixing up time Naveed.

If you want to understand WHY people did what they did in the past, you have to view it from their own perspective from their time period.

====

Of course you can say “Spanish Inquisition 1417, is a terrible model for February 2017″.

====

You’re an activist. That’s fine. Activism has its place. But activism in teaching history can cause a loss of history. Confusion. Current values imposed upon the unknowing who cannot travel forward in time and defend their actions causes a loss of historical context.

Look how many people believe that “people in the middle ages believed the earth was flat?” You were one of them. Muddy history because of someone else’s activism that you learned.

We can and must separate the two. Activists teach a different history than historians do.

====

Now, the guy in this video? He’s an activist. His view of history requires some skepticism. His mention of global warming in the middle ages is fact. BUT – it’s also political. So, one has to view with care. He also messed up much of the timeline. Nevertheless, he presents some good information defending the blanket dismissal of the middle ages. But I wouldn’t teach a history course based upon this either.

=====

You shouldn’t have to stretch at all. The Bible is *not* the center piece of Christendom UNTIL the Protestant Reformation. Prior to that, the Church was and the Bible was a part *within* that body of people.

Steven Pinker – I love some of his work – is too Chomskian when it comes to the brain.

====

It’s not my original notion although I noticed it myself. A quick google found confirmation of my suspicion.

https://www.quora.com/How-has-Noam-Chomsky-influenced…

“Noam Chomsky developed the theory of a universal grammar, which is the idea that all languages share universal sets of grammar rules. Pinker expands on this theory in The Language Instinct and The Blank Slate in which he deduces that the universal grammar is part an innate instinct that we are all born with. A brain born as a complete blank slate cannot do very much and language is one element of the pre-programming built into the human brain.”

—-

On linguistics, they argue.
But it’s like “father and son” arguing. Chomsky led to Pinker. Pinker is an offshoot of Chomskian thinking and rejects some of his intellectual father’s ideas. Such is normal.

====

 

It’s well known Pinker and Chomsky are related in their field. I read Language Instinct in the mid 1990s after having had exposure to Chomsky prior. I enjoyed the text thoroughly but I didn’t like how “hard-wired” Pinker made everything.

=====

Arguing against its validity isn’t how religion functions – that’s how the dialectic method functions.

====

People convert for many reasons. “Reading the book” is hardly the ONLY or even main reason.

Their friends belong to it and they have nice parties.

They bring purpose to their lives. A goal. They don’t convert because of “a book” only, or even mainly.

====

It sounds like you’re arguing for relativism then Naveed. If your point of view about Bible verses is “just as valid” as everybody else, aren’t you advocating for child brides? [using your logic that you put against Trevor before?]

===

*My beliefs* about past cultures is separate from an analysis of past cultures.

====

If I say, “Hitler believed [x]” this does not entail I agree with Hitler.

====

Is a “Good German” citizen one that follows the laws or one who fought against them?

Are citizens that were unaware of death camps responsible for death camps?

I don’t hold the average German in WW2 responsible for death camps. The authorities who knew? Yes. Those that didn’t No.

====

Hitler had access to information to the contrary. He made a choice.

Americans in politics who advocated for slavery knew there was a contrary opinion available because they fought against others with contrary opinions. They made a choice.

Most aspects of Sharia law are generally equivalent to English Common Law. Those aspects of Sharia law are fine. Their lending practices, I’d say are SUPERIOR to English Common Law and its derivatives.

But in those areas which are know human rights abuses? They are criminally responsible for in an international tribuneral. Or should be.

=====

I keep trying to come up with a “World History” that’s least-biased but it’s really hard. Learning about competing perspectives, including Naveed’s in the mix is a part of it.

Someday I hope a team comes up with an acceptable-to-all account of world history. Still waiting.

====

Each culture, subculture and political group seems to have its own ideology that it wishes to impress upon the world stage as Authoritative. There’s activism in most accounts mixed together, coloring the narrative.

Perhaps the best we can do is learn about what’s behind each narrative, learning what’s good about them and where the failings are. Put them together.

====

When people ask, and far too many people do these past few years, I just say “I’m agnostic”. It leaves everybody partially dissatisfied, which is good enough for me.

There’s religion all around with variations of gods and demigods, authorities, saints, sinners and sins. All maps perfectly well, whether in established religions or atheism or most ideologies. Hard to avoid but knowing one’s own biases helps.

=====

There’s definitely a “something more”. I refer to it as ‘the gap”. Always one more number to Pi. Within the nothing of theoretical physics, there’s forces. Find me a spot in spacetime where something’s not animated and I’ll [do something stupid in response].

This amazes me and has my awe and respect. It’s a continual source of “woah” and I look for that ‘something’ that each person believes in that gives them their “woah”.

Logicians often have Logic at the baseline of the Universe. For them, the Universe is built on the axioms and proofs they hold dear.

Religious people have various names for either the laws or the forces or the persons (or Person) along with personalities of each.

Some people have themselves at the center of their religion. Some have the community. So many variations on a theme.

====

 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


− one = 3

Leave a Reply