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Western Civilisation

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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Sunday, November 14, 2021

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

Fantastic book. A must read.

by Ferdinand III


 

Peter Brown is a Professor at Princeton and has produced one of the great classics outlining true history from the Germanic takeover of the husk called the Western Roman empire, to the rise of Christianity and the creation of the modern world via the syncretic development of the pagan with the Christian.  A religious group, which before 315 AD was persecuted, marginalised and comprised no more than 10% of the Roman population, Christianity post Constantine developed into an ideal and foundation for European culture and eventual global domination.  This established fact is derided by the usual array of post-modernists, Atheists and ‘Enlighteners’ who ignore the very pagan and barbaric aspects of ‘classical’ civilisation.  Without Christianity it is likely we would still be sacrificing humans to wood gods, and living in clans with very little technological advancement in any form discernible from 200 AD.  There is nary a claim to a ‘dark age’ since as Peter Brown records and details, none existed.  Turbulence, change, synthesis, and our own ignorance do not validate ‘darkness’. 

 

The book is large and covers an enormous geographical area from Iceland to Western China.  I remember watching a video and reading various blogs, with Atheists deriding medieval Christians believing in ‘Prester John’, a Christian King in China who would ally with the European Christians during the Crusades of the 13th century and help Christian Europe defeat the Muslim Jihad.  Just another example of superstitious Christian ignorance and stupidity, the self-congratulating geniuses will say.  Except there was a Christian Kingdom in Western China, artefacts date it to at least 800 A.D. if not earlier and it lasted many centuries.  This rich state was Nestorian Christian, a sect that deviated from the Orthodox-Chalcedonian Church in matters of Christ’s divinity (given post birth).  It was large and populous for the time, cited close to major trade routes that linked China with Eurasia.  Peter Brown mentions this to his credit.

 

It is one of the few books I have read covering Medieval history, in which there can be very little disagreement with the author’s treatment of the subject.  Some of the more important aspects of Brown’s engrossing and important work include the following.

 

Christianity was before 200 AD primarily a North African and Asian religion.  A fact easily lost with our Euro-centric view of history.  This means that the Euro-Christianity which developed owed much to these sources which shaped the particular brand of Christian-Catholicism which emerges by the 7th century as something rather different than the Eastern Christian sects.

 

The constant presence of the profane, pagan pre-Christian world and the interaction with Christianity is an unexplored theme.  There was a syncretic relation across Europe between the Roman and pagan, and Christianity.  Christianity did not supplant paganism in most areas, as much as merge with it.

 

Most of what we know about the pagan pre-Christian world comes from Christian writers who were mainly monks.  Without this library outlining pagan customs, sagas, rituals, beliefs and creation stories, and legends of how gods and demons worked in our material world, we would know very little about pre-Christian Europe and North Africa.

 

Education in Christianity, including obviously literacy, was highly prized and was developed early in the Church.  This created a class of highly educated, aware, and literate professions within the Church which allowed the development of more complex socio-economic organisations, complex trade, political organisation and governance.  Power and brute strength was post Rome, not enough.  Culture, ethos, morality, common laws, extended trade which benefitted the general masses, and ‘justice’ which was blind to rank, became just as important.  Christianity provided for and filled these needs.

 

The Muslim Jihad starting in the early 7th century disrupted and deranged a rich Christian civilisation which stretched from Spain to Western China with pockets of Christian domination existing even in Sassanid Persia.  Trade, the economy, money, materials and resources all were vastly diminished and created a great contraction in both the Eastern and Western Christian states, with the Muslims almost overrunning all of Europe, stopped finally by the Christian Franks at Poitiers near Tours in 732 (Brown says 733) A.D.  Without that victory Christian Europe was probably conquered.

 

The Roman empire was not a monolithic ‘great classical’ civilisation as expressed by anti-Christian enthusiasts and atheists.  By their own false account Rome ‘fell’, which logically indicates it was not that strong.  It was in effect taken over during a 150 year period, by German mercenaries and military.  When Rome ‘fell’ technological development was static and poor.  In a few centuries post 476 AD Europe was covered in windmills and watermills, heralding an age of mechanisation and improvement.  Greater productivity means greater wealth, and it this economic prowess which generated the funds for advanced military arts and tools, which allowed the Christians to reclaim Spain and for a while the Holy Land and drive the Muslim Jihad back to its core. 

 

‘Barbarians’ as given to us by Roman propaganda did not really exist, especially along the borders.  There was much contact along the Roman ‘limes’ with non-Roman states, tribes and clans.  Many were highly Romanised long before 476 AD.  It was a porous world and trade and culture were exchanged.  Rome did not own civilisation, any more than non-Romans owned barbarism.

 

Christianity is not static.  The Christian religion has changed by region, by year, by century since 200 AD.  It continues to do so today (albeit in the wrong and irreligious direction).  It was a dynamic, inclusive, and open religion.  The institutions of Christianity thus developed more slowly than we believe (baptism, the cemetery, rites and prayers).  The Church was not fully formed in any sense, even by the time of Augustine (~400 AD).  It took many more centuries.

 

The Church post Rome maintained not only Roman law, but also much of the existing pagan law.  Justinian the great Christian emperor of the Greek Romans (early to mid 6th century), codified Roman law in the Justinian code.  Using this, Christians throughout Europe, over many centuries amended Justinian’s codex to include local ‘pagan’ laws, with clear examples being the Franks, Visigoths and Saxons.

 

It is little known, that the 7th century was a watershed.  The Muslim Jihad erupted.  But thankfully for civilisation and our own development, the Christian world had become wealthy and educated.  Architecture was rich and varied.  Libraries at hundreds of monasteries were common.  Monks and writers outside the monastery had the time and patronage to fill volumes on history, religion and science.  Cities were re-energised as trade emerged post the Justinian induced civil war in North Africa and Italy.  Confidence and function were restored to urban centres and their hinterlands.  We see technology being applied using water and wind power, to generate great leaps in efficiency in farming and manufacturing.  The 7th century is often overlooked, but it sets the foundation for what follows.

 

There is much more which could be discussed.  But the book needs to be read by anyone interested in how or why Europe developed the way it did and how Christianity allowed Europe to not only survive the implosion of a pagan, brutal, slave centred and corrupted Roman empire, but surpass it in all areas, in all aspects, in everything that matters in the material and spiritual worlds.

 


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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

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

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)

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

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

12/11/2019:  Islam: Religion of Peace?: The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up, Fr. Portella

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

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

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.

11/14/2014:  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

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)

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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'

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

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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.

11/25/2012:  Part 2: The Gies' - Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel, Review

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

10/31/2012:  Review 2: Islam Dismantled, Sujit Das, Ali Sina

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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.

6/6/2012:  Review 2: Diane Moczar, Islam at the Gates, How Christendom defeated the Ottoman Turks

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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

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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.

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

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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'.

10/20/2010:  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.

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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