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Western Civilisation

Until the advent of materialism and 19th c. dogma, Western Civilisation was  superior to anything Islam had developed.  Islam has not aided in the development of the modern world; in fact civilisation has only been created in spite of Islam.  Proof of this resides in the 'modern' world and the unending political-economic and spiritual poverty of Muslim states and regions.  Squatting on richer civilisations is not 'progress'.  Islam is pagan, totalitarian, and irrational.   

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

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The Light Ages: A Medieval Journey of Discovery, by Seb Falk

St. Albans Monastery and the creation of the Mechanical Clock.

by Ferdinand III


 

 

 

 

 

 

The ‘Dark Ages’ as a term was first concocted by Plutarch in the 14th century.  The poorly named ‘humanists’, or ‘renaissance’ societies of Italy and elsewhere, looked past the medieval era, back to the Roman, to ‘rediscover’ ‘civilisation’.  This is about as intelligent as looking past Charles Babbage or the IBM ENIAC when discussing modern computing and dismissing both as ‘dark’, ‘uninformed’, and ‘superstitious’.  As with the modern era, the current ego and self-inflated importance of someone living off of other’s travails from past epochs is astounding.  If Plutarch’s forebears had not fought and often defeated the Muslims for example in various campaigns including the Crusades, would Plutarch have existed? 

 

Plutarch’s utopia was anything but.  The Roman empire was built on white-slavery (Do White Lives Matter?), 90% of the population would have been illiterate, close to poverty and without basic rights and freedoms; and most men would have been poor tradesmen, or employed in the army.  Outside of some engineering practices, technological advance was minimal, art and writing basic and simple most of it premised on existing Grecian forms.  It was a military fascism and over time corrupt, nepotistic, deranged and confused.  The Roman empire was not the idyll of sophistication portrayed by ‘humanist’ sympathisers.  It was a brutal iron-age empire, highly centralised, and only humanised by its general conversion to Christianity in 315 AD under Constantine.  Plutarch, the Enlightenment, the ‘sophisticated’ view of Rome is and was romanticised and fairly ignorant, not based on facts, but fancy. 

 

Back to the reality of the post-Roman world.  Times change and Europe was much better off without the dead weight of the Roman empire and military to carry.  Innovation proceeded aplenty, even as the Europeans fought endless wars against the Muslims, the Avars and Magyars, the Vikings and Mongols.  The ‘humanists’ and ‘enlightened’ thinkers wrongly and simplistically stated that a belief in God, meant a disavowal in progress, technology or invention.  This ignorant claim is rather shocking, especially from people who work to a clock or wear eye-glasses or used common household tools.

 

Naturalist science was created in the Medieval era, well developed by the time of the first universities (12 century):

But belief in God never prevented people from seeking to understand the world around them. Loyalty to texts and traditions never meant the rejection of new ideas. Channelling money and creative energies into religious art and architecture never restricted the range of medieval people’s interests. The relationship between faith and the study of nature was – and remains – a complex one…

 

For medieval people, study of the world – that is, the whole created cosmos – was a route to moral and spiritual wisdom. As Isaac Newton – hardly himself medieval, but standing on the shoulders of several medieval giants – wrote in an afterword to his monumental Principia mathematica, ‘thus much concerning God; to discourse of whom from the appearances of things, does certainly belong to Natural Philosophy’.

 

One of the greatest Christian medieval inventions amongst the hundreds that can be listed is the mechanical clock.  The clock is the foundation of modern work, the regulator of time and labour, the basis of productivity and production.  Only in Christian Europe is the mechanical clock invented and disseminated.  It is a key – but never mentioned reason – why European civilisation begins to dominate the world by 1500.  The clock allows time, effort and productive usage of both day and night to be implemented, measured, agreed upon in different locations and countries and is directly tied to naturalism, astronomy and mathematics. 

 

St. Albans’ 14th century masterpiece:

…world’s most advanced astronomical clock, set on a raised platform in the abbey church of St Albans...its inventor, Richard of Wallingford to be elected abbot in 1327, though its spiralling costs meant that it was still incomplete at his death – from leprosy – in 1336.

 

The mechanical clock was surely the most significant invention of the Middle Ages. Imagine our lives today without timekeeping.

 

…..(pre-dating St. Albans) a clock at Norwich Cathedral priory, surely mechanical, and records survive from the following decade of clocks in Dunstable, Exeter, London, Westminster and Oxford. Of all these clocks, not a single fragment survives. Again, and again we will see the irresistible medieval drive to tinker, to redesign, to incrementally improve or upgrade technology. When that happened, the attraction of reusing or recycling components – and the limitations of storage space – left little material evidence. Historians are dependent on descriptions, drawings and financial records.

 

Instead, what defines the mechanical clock – and excludes most of the water-based devices which had been used worldwide and developed over millennia – is its reliable, self-regulating driving mechanism. (I say ‘most’ because water-based clockwork mechanisms had been used to power astronomical devices in China for over three hundred years).

 

The genius of the clock at St. Albans would have been lost except:

North (English historian 1930s-1950s) dedicated much of his career to studying and publicising Wallingford’s work. The result of North’s research is that Wallingford … has been recognised as the greatest English astronomer of the later Middle Ages (though he is still hardly the household name he should be). Wallingford’s achievements signal the important role of monks in the story of science and remind us how religion and science went hand in hand. They also help explain why St Albans was such a centre for scientific study in the decades following his death…..

 

Such hour-striking is so familiar to us – albeit only from one to twelve – that it may seem trivial, but it required a clever piece of technology, which Wallingford invented: a barrel with pegs that released the striking mechanism and stopped it after the correct number of strokes.  The same principles of hour-striking, as well as a strob-type escapement, were used in designs sketched out 150 years later by Leonardo da Vinci, so it seems Wallingford’s ideas spread widely.

 

Could Plutarch or Gibbon invent a hour-striking mechanical clock?  Of course not.  Fat, insolent, self-absorbed, they invented nothing of note.  But the monks by the late 13th century in England did invent a masterpiece of engineering – something the mythologised Romans never bothered to attempt.  Slave societies don’t need clocks.  Societies which innovate, which have energy, which are creative, do.  And the monks of England were at the forefront of engineering science.  All modern sneers aside.

 

 


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6/29/2023:  Defenders of the West. Raymond Ibrahim. Another must-read.

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5/29/2023:  Judith Herrin, ‘Byzantium. The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire’.

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5/18/2023:  Johathan Harris, The Lost World of Byzantium

5/13/2023:  History of the Byzantine Empire, Sir Charles Oman, 272 pages, 2018

11/7/2022:  Christopher Dawswon 'Religion and the rise of Western culture'

8/26/2022:  Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity. By Peter Brown

4/14/2022:  Henri Pirenne, 'A History of Europe: From the Invasions to the XVI Century'

1/22/2022:  ‘Through the Eye of A Needle’ by Peter Brown

11/28/2021:  Peter Hammond: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam. Exposing the moon cult and Jihad

11/14/2021:  The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity, A.D. 200–1000. Peter Brown.

10/4/2021:  Henri Pirenne: Mohammed and Charlemagne

9/27/2021:  Henri Pirenne: Mohammed and Charlemagne. Rome never 'Fell'. It was replaced.

8/9/2021:  The Catholic Enlightenment, Ulrich L. Lehner. Nicholas Bergier, defender of the Church.

8/8/2021:  The New World Order, by A. Ralph Epperson

7/15/2021:  The Catholic Enlightenment, Ulrich L. Lehner. From the 16th century to Pope Francis.

7/9/2021:  The Catholic Enlightenment, by Ulrich L. Lehner

3/29/2021:  The Clock and the Camshaft, J. W. Farrell

3/20/2021:  Bearing False Witness, by Rodney Stark, #2.

3/17/2021:  Bearing False Witness, by Rodney Stark, #1.

2/5/2021:  ‘Slavery, Terrorism and Islam’ by Peter Hammond

1/27/2021:  Emmet Scott 'The Impact of Islam' and the mythical Golden Age of Muhammadan Spain

1/24/2021:  The Impact of Islam, by Emmet Scott (part two)

1/20/2021:  The Impact of Islam, by Emmet Scott (part one)

11/20/2020:  The Light Ages: A Medieval Journey of Discovery, by Seb Falk. Science and sphericity.

11/11/2020:  The Light Ages: A Medieval Journey of Discovery, by Seb Falk

10/16/2020:  The Age of Plunder, by W. G. Hoskins

10/11/2020:  Michael Wood's 'In Search of The Dark Ages'. Plenty of light, the basis of civilisation

9/8/2020:  The Glory of the Crusades, Steve Weidenkopf (2014)

8/5/2020:  C.S. Lewis and 'The Abolition of Man' by Steve Turley

12/18/2019:  The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Spencer

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11/25/2019:  2030: Your Children's Future in Islamic Britain, by David Vincent

4/28/2016:  History of the Catholic Church from the Renaissance to the French Revolution - James MacCaffrey

2/24/2016:  Morris Bishop, 'The Middle Ages'

11/6/2015:  “Medieval Lives” by Alan Ereira, Terry Jones and the 'other side' of the Monkish orders

11/6/2015:  Medieval Lives by Alan Ereira, Terry Jones

8/18/2015:  Dr. Robert Morey, 'Islam Unveiled' – The Real Desert Storm

8/16/2015:  R. A. Morey, 'Islam Unveiled', 1991

1/18/2015:  Ataturk in the Nazi Imagination, by Stefan Ihrig

11/28/2014:  The poorly named Enlightenment - James Hitchcock, History of the Catholic Church

11/27/2014:  Michael Coren's 'Hatred: Islam's war against Christianity' Read it.

11/20/2014:  "The Catholic Church and Science" by Benjamin Wiker

11/14/2014:  Michael Coren: 'Hatred; Islam's war on Christianity'. Stating the obvious.

11/11/2014:  Collins and Christian-Catholic Culture in the West

11/4/2014:  The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France, the Creation of Europe in the 10th Century P. Collins

7/25/2014:  James Hitchcock, The History of the Catholic Church

7/19/2014:  William Muir, 1868, 'Life of Mahomet' - the madness revealed

6/30/2014:  Garwood: 'Flat Earth' - a belief only held by atheists and evolutionists

5/1/2014:  How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity by Rodney Stark

4/23/2014:  The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, + Western Success - Rodney Stark

3/31/2014:  John Freely: 'Before Galileo', Kuhn and the real history of real science.

3/25/2014:  John Freely: 'Before Galileo', Diophantus to Bradwardine, review 2

3/15/2014:  Book Review: John Freely and 'Before Galileo'

2/19/2014:  Christianity, Islam and Atheism by William Kilpatrick (2)

2/18/2014:  Christianity, Islam and Atheism by William Kilpatrick

6/28/2013:  Raymond Ibrahim 'Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians'

4/24/2013:  Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church by George Weigel

4/21/2013:  Robert Spencer: 'Moslem Persecution of Christians'

4/13/2013:  Book Review: Islam: Evil in the name of God

3/31/2013:  The Triumph of the Risen. The Truth of Christianity.

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1/7/2013:  Book Review 1: God and Reason In the Middle Ages, by Edward Grant

1/3/2013:  The Early Middle Ages 400-1000, Editor Rosamund McKitterick, Short Oxford History of Europe

12/17/2012:  Heresy: Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity, by Michael Coren

12/10/2012:  Medieval Technology and Social Change, Lynn White Jr., Oxford Press, 1968

11/29/2012:  Book Review: Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America, Kenneth Timmerman

11/28/2012:  Book Review: Islamophobia, by Robert Spencer.

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11/13/2012:  Book: The cult of the Moon God, by Brian Wilson

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10/29/2012:  Book Review 1: Islam Dismantled by Sujit Das, Ali Sina

9/22/2012:  Book Review: Michael Coren, 'Why Catholics are Right'.

9/3/2012:  Book Review, Why the West is Best, by Ibn Warraq, Part Two

8/29/2012:  Book Review, Why the West is Best, by Ibn Warraq, Part One

6/12/2012:  Book Review: Poitiers AD 732, Charles Martel turns the Islamic tide. David Nicolle.

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5/26/2012:  The Early Middle Ages 400-1000, Editor Rosamund McKitterick, Short Oxford History of Europe

4/13/2012:  Review, Emmet Scott: 'Mohammed and Charlemagne'

4/10/2012:  Henri Pirenne, 'Mohammed and Charlemagne' – Part 2

4/7/2012:  Book Review: Henri Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne – Part One

1/29/2012:  Andrew Wheatcroft's, 'The Enemy at the Gate'

1/22/2012:  Book Review: Defenders of the Faith, by James Reston Jr.

1/11/2012:  Book Review: Norman Berdichevsky, 'The Left is not always Right'

12/10/2011:  Book Review, Nigel Cliff's 'Holy War' – good but flawed.

11/7/2011:  'How Civilizations Die', D. P. Goldman, 2011, 270 pgs.

10/21/2011:  'Religion and the Rise of Western Culture' – Christopher Dawson [Kindle Edition]

9/29/2011:  Book Review: Bynum's 'Allah is Dead'

9/16/2011:  Middle Age Dynamism

8/13/2011:  Malise Ruthven, 'Islam in the World' and the Kabaa-Hajj paganism.

8/12/2011:  EJ Brill and the Ka'ba

8/11/2011:  F.E. Peters and the pagan origins of the Kabaa Shrine

7/14/2011:  Benjamin Walker, Foundations of Islam: The Making of a World Faith 

4/12/2011:  Martin Gilbert: 'In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands', part 3.

4/6/2011:  Martin Gilbert: 'In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands', part 2.

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3/22/2011:  Book Review: Will Israel survive? By Dr. Mitchell Bard, expert on Israel's political-economy.

3/20/2011:  Book Review ‘The Great War for Civilization', by Robert Fisk

3/18/2011:  Book Review: Bruce Bawer's “Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom”, Doubleday, May 2009.

3/15/2011:  Book Review: World War IV and Beyond, by Richard Hobbs.

3/11/2011:  Alan Dershowitz's: 'The Case for Israel.'

3/5/2011:  Leaving Islam, by Ibn Warraq

2/18/2011:  Review part 2: D. S. Margoliouth, 'The Early Development of Mohammedanism', 1913.

2/12/2011:  Review: D. S. Margoliouth, 'The Early Development of Mohammedanism', 1913.

12/21/2010:  Robert R. Reilly, 'The Closing of the Muslim Mind'. The Communal Fascism of Islam.

12/19/2010:  Robert R. Reilly, 'The Closing of the Muslim Mind'.

10/22/2010:  Rodney Stark, 'For the Glory of God'

10/20/2010:  Andrew McCarthy, 'The Grand Jihad, How Islam and the Left Sabotage America'.

10/18/2010:  Book Review: 'The Dhimmi. Jews and Christians under Islam.' Bat Ye'or.

10/8/2010:  Jamie Glazov: 'United in Hate'. Indeed they are. The Leftards and Muslims that is.

8/31/2010:  'The Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs', Robert Spencer

8/9/2010:  Amil Imani: Iranian and former-Muslim writes about the pagan savagery that is Islam.

7/15/2010:  Book Review: Baran's 'The Other Muslims: Moderate and Secular'. A fantasy novel.

6/29/2010:  Serge Trifkovic: 'The Sword of the Prophet'. Jihad, Jihad and endless Jihad.

6/28/2010:  Serge Trifkovic: 'The Sword of the Prophet'. The Madness of Muhammad.

6/5/2010:  Review, 'Medieval Civilization 400-1500' by Jacques Le Goff.

5/31/2010:  Fregosi and Islam's endless Jihad.

5/27/2010:  Book Review, 'The Civilization of the Middle Ages', by Norman Cantor, 1993.

5/21/2010:  Book Review: 'Islam's Black Slaves', by Ronald Segal, 2001.

5/9/2010:  Book Review: 'Race and Slavery in the Middle East.' by Bernard Lewis, 1990.

5/6/2010:  Book Review: 'Slavery in the Arab World', by Murray Gordon, 1987.

5/5/2010:  Book Review: R. C Davis; 'Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters', 2004 edition.

5/1/2010:  Book review: The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran, by Robert Spencer.

4/28/2010:  Book Review; Thomas Cahill, 'Mysteries of the Middle Ages', 317 pages.

4/9/2010:  Book Review: 'The Islamic Anti-Christ', Joel Richardson, 2009, WND Books.

3/26/2010:  Book Review: Wafa Sultan, 'A God Who Hates'. 2009, 244 pages.

3/19/2010:  Book Review: Brigitte Gabriel, “They Must be Stopped”. 2009. 240 pages.

3/1/2010:  Book Review; M. A. Khan “Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery”

2/22/2010:  Book Review: 'Defeating Political Islam' by Moorthy Muthuswamy

2/13/2010:  'Holy Warriors' – the Arab devastation of the Mediterranean

2/10/2010:  Henri Pirenne and why the 'Dark Ages' occurred.

2/20/2009:  Book Review: 'The Great Arab Conquests', by Hugh Kennedy.

1/22/2009:  Book Review - 'Chasing a Mirage' by Tarek Fatah. [2008, Wiley and Son, 410 pages.]

6/15/2008:  Book Review: 'Islamic Imperialism – A History.' By Efraim Karsh.

1/7/2008:  Book Review: Ed Husain, 'The Islamist'

11/22/2007:  Book Review: 'The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy', by Walid Phares

10/16/2007:  Robert Spencer's superb book: 'Religion of Peace: Why Christianity is and Islam isn't'

9/21/2007:  Book Review: 'Infidel' by Ayaan Hirsi Ali- a Somalian-Dutch Muslim Apostate

5/2/2007:  Book Review: Islam The Arab Imperialism, By Anwar Shaikh

4/9/2007:  Book Review: ‘Religion of Peace? Islam’s War Against the World’, by G.M. Davis

2/12/2007:  Book review – ‘The Truth about Mohammad’, by Robert Spencer

2/11/2007:  Book review of 'Because they hate' by Brigitte Gabriel