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Join Gab (@StFerdinandIII) Western Civilisation was and is superior to anything Islam has developed.  Islam has not aided in the development of the modern world; in fact civilisation has only been created in spite of Islam.  Raising the alarm about the fascism called Submission since 2000.  

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

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Book Review: Henri Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne – Part One

The truth about the impact of the Moslem invasions on civilistion.

by Ferdinand III


 

Pirenne was a Belgian historian whose great works were constructed between about 1910 and his death in 1935. Few historians were as original, detailed, independent and devoid of arcane theological axes to grind as Pirenne. Nor were many as dedicated to truth. The veracity of his research and writings has earned him few academic admirers who still attempt to trash and maim his main theorem, namely that when Rome fell in 476 AD life carried on as much as it did before. The great impairment of European civilization only came with the irruption and brutal severing of the Mediterranean world from its past, culture, trade linkages and shared ethos, by the barbarian invasions of Islam from 634 AD to 800 AD.

Pirenne was most certainly correct. Rome splintered into German-controlled centers of power, and life largely went on as before, with taxes and state corruption and bureaucracy much reduced. The exception was in Anglo-Saxon England. When the Moslems detached the northern Mediterranean from the southern during the 7th and early 8th centuries, the great schism and degradation of European commerce, culture and artifacts began. Society became smaller, poorer, and more local. Specie disappeared. Trade markedly declined and society became fractured. Moslem slave trading, violence, piracy and raiding was a daily feature of life. This state of affairs lasted for about 200 years. Yet I doubt if one college in 10, teaches any part whatsoever of this theory.

For most of the 'sophisticated' class, Rome crashed, the Europeans were instantly tossed back into pre-pagan savagery; the 'Dark Age' of illiterate banditry crassly asserted itself, and only through the lassitude and benevolence of Moslems in Spain and Sicily, along with a few refugees from Byzantine with the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the Turks; were the skin-wearing, lice-ridden, toothless, unclean European primitives, finally able to claw and pull their stinking heaps out of the mire and into the sunlit uplands of Oriental inspired civilization. In this fantasy the Europeans were reduced to Cro-Magnon status for much of 1000 years. Fantastically, within 100-150 years they were bestriding the world, engaged in the process of imperialism in which the entire planet would succumb to European power. From zeroes to heroes in no time. Instant 'Enlightenment'. Such is what passes for historical accuracy in the post-modern, happy-Marxist era of disinformation.

Pirenne's thesis is so remarkable precisely because it is so accurate and full of common-sense, proof, archeological certainty, and buttressed by extant documents and coinage. Certainly parts of what he writes could be amended. But the entire construction is as solid as Herod's great temple. Some examples include:

-Mare Nostrum, or our lake, the Mediterranean, was a complete cultural unit under Roman control and after 476 AD, it increasingly fell under the influence of Byzantium, the Eastern Romans and heirs to the empire. All of the lands along the Mare Nostrum, including the realms of the Occident which bordered it, were more or less homogenous in culture, ambitions, monetary and social systems and in theological inclinations.

-During and after the Western-Roman era the location of maritime traffic and shipping was in the Eastern Mediterranean, and specifically in the hands of the 'Syrians' the great merchants of late antiquity. This fact carried on well after the fall of Rome [which was in effect a German-effected palace coup].

-The Goths and German 'barbarians' did not dismantle the Roman Empire but were subsumed by it both in terms of population and in culture. The Goths never numbered at any one time, in any one incursion more than 100.000 or so people, with perhaps 10% being military men. Even if 5 million Germans over 100-200 years entered the empire, they were swallowed up by the mass of some 70-100 million Romans which inhabited the lands of the Mare Nostrum.

-There was little in the way of a cultural conflict between the Goths and Romans: ”The paganism of the Barbarians did not inspire them with a hatred of the Roman gods, nor did it excite their hostility toward the one God of the Christians.” [p.22] Given this fact the Germans were not disposed to eradicate Roman society and culture, and impose themselves. Quite the opposite in fact.

-The Germans did not bring a superior culture, language, religion or set of ideas to replace Rome's. When they settled in the empire they took over the customs, administrative apparati, the legal system, the villas, agricultural estates and latifundas, Latin, and also the general culture and literature of the Romans. The Germans offered nothing to replace Roman civilisation.

There was hardly a trace at all, of 'Germanic principles'. Under the new kings the old system of government survived, though doubtless in an imperfect form. There was only one novelty: service in the army was gratuitous, thanks to the distribution of land. The State was relieved of the terrible war budget which had formerly crushed the people.” [p. 54]

-In the Western empire, post 476 AD, the Kings were laymen and the Church subordinate to the state – much as it had been in Roman times [p.57-60].

-Constantinople was the pre-eminent Mare Nostrum power and 'it was to Constantinople that the kings submitted their disputes...' [p. 63] The Byzantines controlled the sea lanes, shipping, trade and dispersed a higher culture throughout the Occident.

In short, despite its losses, the Empire was still the only world-power, and Constantinople was the greatest of civilized cities. The foreign policy of the Empire embraced all the peoples of Europe, and completely dominated the policy of the Germanic state. Until the 8th century the only positive element in history was the influence of the Empire. And it is an undeniable fact that the Empire had become Oriental.” [p. 73]

-From 476 AD until the 8th century vast quantities of papyrus, spice, gold, wine, silk, textiles, art, olives, cooking and heating oil and other necessities were circulating widely and deeply throughout Western Europe, borne along the Eastern Mediterranean and Asian trade routes controlled by Syrians, Greeks and Jews. Based on extant records there was no noticeable decline in trade until the 8th century. [p. 80-105]

-Gold as the mono-metallic form of payment reigned in Europe, Anglo-Saxonia excepted, until the 8th century.

In reading the first part of Pirenne's well-sourced work, one apprehends that Rome did not fall, but simply mutated into another and plausibly better society. The basic structures of life and culture were largely unaffected by the Gothic invasions. Gold still ruled, trade was deep and profound, the roads, canals, waterways, public baths and great estates went on in use as before. The Eastern Roman empire, even before and certainly after Justinian's reconquest of Italy, North Africa and Spain, was the power prima-inter-pares and the cultural locus of civilization. The Germans were merged into the Romano-civilizations and little of 'Germanic principles' can be found post 476 AD in the various Gothic kingdoms. In other words the Roman world did not dissolve in 476 AD or anytime thereafter. The great Mare Nostrum civilization was in tact – until the carnage and dislocation spread far and wide by the adherents of the cult of Muhammad and Al-Lah, destroyed it.  

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