Sadly, the Latin West was considered somewhat of a lost cause by this point as relations had soured considerably, although some efforts to bring them back were attempted.

Well, there is no need to fret. Consider that there has been an unbroken chain of knowledge passed down from the earliest days of Western Civilization.

Despite our dramatically received tales of loss and regain, instead it appears that there was never a time that the classics weren’t taught and learned in some form. Epicurean values carried on in the Cenobitic monastic communities and despite some sense of drama from Justinian I, consider the rigor of the Ecumenical councils in general, the techniques of the Greeks in logic and Rhetoric as well as other schools carrried on. The engineering and sciences embodied by Hero, the mathematics continued to be taught and knowledge shared with the growing Islamic population, allowing for the great arabic mathematicians to publish in the 11th century, and even among the struggle of political power for Byzantium between the Greeks and the Arabs, schools continued functioning, knowledge continued to be shared between the cultures, books translated.

Sadly, the Latin West was considered somewhat of a lost cause by this point as relations had soured considerably, although some efforts to bring them back were attempted.

This narrative I’m giving, I’m not saying that “this is the correct narrative as opposed to what is typically received”: as you know, the very nature of narrative is quite flexible, depending on which facets one wishes to highlight.

But it was an eye opener to me in my 20s to learn that “history as I received it” (the tale of inevitable progress against the darkness of religious forces and flames) was not necessarily the correct story but rather a bit of European chest-thumping. Quite a surprise indeed.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.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


5 × six =

Leave a Reply