In the case of the Byzantines, did you know that all Christian monasteries started off as Epicurean communities?
I once researched it. I asked, “What happened to the Epicureans?”
Well, they never left. Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora, upon establishing their territory and Christianizing the Roman Empire (the Eastern side ’cause Rome was shit by then), all of the Epicureans got a Christian frosting on top. Everything else stayed the same for them. No bloodshed, conversion by force like you’d expect (at least that I ever read about).
They just changed flags. Protection of the empire wasn’t the worst thing to have.
They got to keep their lifestyle and it formed the basis of Christian monasticism.
After the Great Schism, the west started going a little differently of course. Scholasticism was a uniquely western way of doing things.. liked splitting things up. Ended up taking western monasticism in a different direction… or a bunch of them really.
Anyway, I wouldn’t cry over the gnostics. The real gnostics were over and done with VERY early on in Christianity.
Anybody afterwards (11th century or whatever) that called themselves gnostics were neo-gnostics… picking up some old books and trying to start a new thing based on old books. Not really the same. But I’m not a fan of the western church stuff.
It’s weird – i’ve been agnostic for like 15 yrs now I suppose but I guess my exposure with the Orthodox biased me. Oh well tongue emoticon
Yeah, because of my exposure to the Orthodox, in my mind, I see the timeline of things kinda like this. Not exactly, but kinda. So, I see all the stuff in Europe and Rome to be political power hungry BS, Protestantism as “hey we got this book and we don’t need historical continuity” and basically, they’re playing church.
That’s what I get for searching for roots. I was raised Methodist, went church hopping, ALMOST went catholic, then ended up going Orthodox for 5 yrs… Got to breath a different perspective than BBC history. It was cool. Expanded my perspective of history away from event-driven dynamics towards historical continuities and discontinuities of peoples.
One of these days I want to dive into Chinese history and get that kind of ‘sense’ of it that I get with Western Civ. I’m also lacking in much Islamic history. In my head, Islam proper ended the moment they started slashing instead of educating, around the 13th century I suppose and DEFINITELY by the Ottoman empire. TO me, that’s when they lost it and became “this thing they call islam” but isn’t REALLY Islam. Lost their continuity. Weird way of viewing history I suppose.
I mean, the ppl running the empire and the bishops were definitely working with each other, but they kinda kept their affairs separate but in sync as much as could be. Not always of course. But they were big believers in something we see as a negative these days:
They lived and breathed status quo for like 900 yrs. Has its downside but the upside was an internal peace and even decent relations with foreign countries, once diplomacy took place.
But it was a unique situation in world history.
Awesome modern example of status quo is https://en.wikipedia.org/…/Status_quo_%28Holy_Land… – from the 18th century onwards.
There’s peace and cooperation in the holy sites. NOTHING happens new without complete agreement among all parties.
OF course that means,nothing broken gets repaired.
BUT, they’re not fighting over it. An awkward peace but it serves a function.