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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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Catholic Legacy - Recent Articles

Catholics created the idea of International law

The Age of Discoveries were also an age of introspection and criticism.

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Bartolome de las Casas with indians of America Pictures | Getty Images

 

When the ‘New World’ was discovered by Columbus, conflict between an advanced civilisation and a pagan, primitive culture was guaranteed.  Millions of Ameri-Indians over 4 centuries were killed by Whites, through war, enslavement, and mostly disease.  Some 10 million are thought to have perished in about 400 years.  The fiction that the Ameri-Indians were peace-loving environmentalists developing an advanced stone-base civilisation is now accepted within education and the anti-White, anti-Western paper mills called ‘journals’ and ‘academic writings’.  It is ridiculous. 

 

In any given year during the 15th century the Aztecs in Mexico and the Incas in Peru would sacrifice 150.000 humans to their pagan nature gods, including celestial worship (Venus, the Moon, the Sun), and fertility cults.  This entails over 1 million people per decade were murdered to spill their blood to appease the fantasy-spirits of the natural and celestial world, and to guarantee rain, harvests, victories in war, or the continued aggrandizement of the pagan priestly elite.  Over a century there could have been more than 5-10 million murdered by the Aztecs and Incas. 

 

This atavistic savagery does not include those who were killed during the endless wars between tribes and states; nor those who died in slavery.  The Mayan and other ‘civilisations’ were famously destroyed through eco-devastation as trees were cut down to produce lime and whitewash for the grand temples and pyramids.  The collapse of the eco-system ensured the self-immolation of the Mayan empire in the 10th century.

 

When the Spanish began the subjugation of the Ameri-Indians, we can see that as early as 1511 in sermons and letters by de Montesinos in Haiti and others, laments on the brutal treatment of the natives.  Spanish policy was condemned for its barbaric attitude towards the natives, its violence, enslavement and disregard of property rights and natural law rights of the native people.  Out of Christian conscience was born international law.  There is no evidence that native Ameri-Indians spent any time reflecting on such rights and ideals.  Their culture was perfectly at ease with the barbarism of human sacrifice and slavery. 

 

Through these efforts the Spanish Church produced the Laws of Burgos (1512) and of Valladolid (1513) which governed how Spanish officials were to interact with the ‘natives’.  These legal codes were premised on natural law and property law and rights.  De Vitoria and other jurists used St. Thomas Acquinas’ system of natural law rights to argue that the native Ameri-Indians had a God-given right to their land, their bodies and their families.  De Vitoria argued that ‘just war’ did not exist because some Ameri-Indians rejected the gospel or that they lacked ‘reason’ or civilisation.  Their inherent natural law rights negated those arguments. 

 

Las Casas shared Vitoria’s position on native natural law rights, and that the natives should be dealt with kindly, with patience and that the Spanish abandon the Aristotelian-Greek-Roman concept of slavery as being part of the natural order.  God given natural law rights made slavery an illegal and immoral practice.  By 1550 many Spanish theologians had developed a code of international law and concepts designed to protect the rights of any people or group including the Ameri-Indians.  International law would build on these foundations and find detailed expression in the 17th century through Christians such as Grotius and many others.

 

The main point is that during the 16th century Christian Spaniards viewed their civilisation’s activities in the ‘new world’ and found many of them to be without merit, wanting and un-Christian.  Ideas on reform, changes to legal texts and codes and binding instruments of agreement and principles, issued by the Spanish state as well as the Vatican were pursued and created.  No other culture or civilisation has ever done this namely analysed itself, its actions and their outcomes and decided that a great change was mandatory. 

 

The 'Renaissance' was just a continuation of the Medieval

No great cleavage exists, in some areas there is a retrogression, not improvement.

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The ‘Renaissance’ period as a clear cleavage and dividing line from the medieval does not exist.  The ‘Renaissance’ is simply a continuation of the ‘Medieval’, the names themselves meaning little and entirely contrived.  Is 1453 and the end of the ‘100 years’ war’ a ‘Medieval’ or a ‘Renaissance’ event.  No one in 1453 called the era either of these concocted and specious names.  1453 was part of the same era, culture and history as 1353, 1253 or 853.  Henry VI who lost the English possessions in France would never have understood why his era was the beginning of a ‘Renaissance’ as it was embroiled in a quite medieval civil war. 

 

These arbitrarily divided categories are quite obviously part of the same process of development, cojoined in a millennium of history and culture.  If the ‘Middle Ages’, did not exist, there is no ‘Renaissance’ or rebirth, the new birthing of something which is never defined, except for the usual hoary myth of a return to ‘Roman splendour’, a military empire, founded upon white slavery, which was outside of public works, technologically primitive, a society where 1/3 were slaves and most of the rest poor and illiterate.  ‘Classical civilisation’ has much to condemn it.

 

The ’Renaissance’ usually starts at the time of the Musulman destruction of Constantinople in 1453.  Years before this cataclysmic debacle and the erasure of the Christian capital of the Christian Eastern empire, a migration of the educated, the elite, the merchant class and those with means and money from Constantinople to the West and especially Italy, the birthplace of the ‘Renaissance’, had occurred.  The ‘rebirth’ of the ill defined ‘classicism’ was the product of a Christian wave moving East to West, bringing with them the money, technology, treasures and libraries of Eastern Christendom.  If this migration of Christians and their knowledge and money had not occurred, the ‘Renaissance’ would not have existed. 

 

It was not a ‘rebirth’ from the immaterial, pace the Western ‘histories’, nor a recrudescence from darkness into light.  It was a showering of Christian Byzantine education and influence into Italy, itself richer and more prosperous from trade and eras of internal peace, protected from the Musulman Jihad by the fast-ebbing empire of Byzantium and the Christianised Balkans which fought against the Ottoman hordes, preventing a complete seizure of central Europe.  Petrarch the ignorant knew little about what prompted an increase in learning or sophisticated ‘intellectual’ pursuits, many of those then as now, as sterile and useless and any sophistry in the days of Plato.  It was ironically Christian civilisation which produced the ‘Renaissance’.

 

We see this in the art and architecture of the ‘Renaissance’ which carried on the same themes as that of the Medieval period, finding an apogee in the Catholic Baroque, itself the most quintessentially religious art ever produced.  Giotto, Cimbabue and countless others in the 14th century anticipate Renaissance art and set the foundation for the development of techniques and paintings in the 15th.  There was little that was new in the 15th or 16th centuries regarding art or architecture.

 

Secularism as a 16th century trend was self-evident in every country and region long before 1450, with the ‘reformers’ of the 14th century and many of their followers quite secular, material and often irreligious.  The Church itself and its hierarchy of dignitaries were criticised during many centuries for their materialism, pomp, corruption and secular attitudes, ruling as Barons in some cases, controlling armies and engaging in political and military disputes.  All of this led to ‘reforming’ tendencies and outbreaks.

 

In science there is a retrogression in the 16th century.  Copernican theory has still not been mechanically proven (which shocks the bien pensant but is entirely true) and was a philosophical not a scientifically premised theory.  Many other theories explain natural and celestial phenomena.  Alchemy, astrology, a belief in witches all witnessed fantastic growth during this period.  Even during the ‘scientific revolution’ of the 17th century, Galileo’s achievements were premised on centuries of work by others dating back to the 13th century, as were Newton’s, structured on medieval Scholastic experimentation. 

 

Kenneth Clark the atheist art historian remarked in his ‘Civilisation’ about the 16th century:

“Guercino spent much of his mornings in prayer, Bernini frequently went on retreats…Rubens went to Mass every day…Saint Ignatius Loyola the visionary soldier turned psychologist…(a Catholic culture) for a half century that could produce these great spirits.”

 

During the 16th century Popes Julius II and Leo X invested enormous sums into art and architecture, often taxing Catholics into outrage and rebellion to fund the endeavours.  Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael and scores of others have left the world richer and more civilised for it.  Some of the greatest works of human conception emanated from the deeply religious of the 16th century and their patrons.  The printing press was created in 1450, along with dozens of sundry other inventions.  Dissemination of writing, ideas, treatises and broadsheets is a decidedly medieval invention, taking generations to find expression in the technology and automation of Gutenberg. 

 

The myth that the ‘Renaissance’ was a rebirth of something is utter bunk.  This era was the continuation of the Medieval, impelled by the fleeing Christians of Byzantium and the capital of medieval Italy created through trade and commerce. 

 

The greatest art and architecture in world history - the Gothic cathedral

Sans pareil. An illuminating, rational, and brillaint age in many ways.

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Gothic Style: What Ideas Transformed Architecture?

 

 

What is left of the decaying corpulent carcass of Western Civilisation, owes its art and architecture to the Catholic Church, along with its greatest music (classical).  Churches, minsters, Cathedrals, paintings, sculpture, mosaics, stained glass, illuminated manuscripts and building facades, provided inspiration, admiration and imitation across the centuries.  The created world and Catholic themes were the most important innovative factor in art and architecture in world history. 

 

The Catholic Church’s official opposition to iconoclasm or the destruction of any image which was related to Christ and God cannot be overemphasised.  By rejecting this Eastern heresy the beautiful pietas of Michaelangelo and many others were sculpted, the Madonnas of Raphael chiselled, the wonderful elegiacal facades carved, and the endless arrays of technically advanced paintings were developed. 

 

This stupendously powerful and evocative view of representational religious art is unique in the world.  The Muhammadan cult does not allow any religious artwork.  The Byzantines spent almost 200 years mired in the iconoclastic controversy where all depictions of Christ or religious themes was forbidden.  Protesters aka Protestants attacked, burned and defiled priceless religious works of art, smashing statues, altarpieces, stained-glass windows and priceless treasures.  This was called a ‘Reformation’. 

 

The greatest Catholic innovation in art and architecture, surpassing the public works of Rome, was the Cathedral, called Gothic by the 18th century self-proclaimed ‘Enlighteners’.  Gothic was utilised as a pejorative, associating the majestic genius of Cathedral building to the Germanic and uncivilised Goth tribes.  This association was determined by men wearing wigs who could not build a home garden.  These Cathedrals are simply the greatest works of art in history.

 

The ’Gothic’ style grew out of the Romanesque architecture of the 10th and 11th centuries.  Originating in France, Romanesque churches were much larger than the existing smaller wooden and stone churches and minsters found in Northern Europe.  The Gothic style, which commenced in the 12th century, built on the Romanesque, greatly increasing the width and height, employing flying buttresses, the pointed arch, and the ribbed vault, along with stained glass windows to let in the light and illuminate the realm of God on Earth and to enlighten the minds of men and remove the pagan past and the evil of nature worship.  These were and are, engineering masterpieces.  It is unlikely we have the skills today to build a Gothic cathedral from the beginning, without the aid of CAD or digital programs.

 

Salisbury Cathedral, Built in The Style of Early English Gothic ...

 

(Salisbury Cathedral)

 

Each Cathedral was mathematical in its planning.  There is an impressive geometric coherence to the Gothic style based on Saint Augustine and his reference to Wisdom 11:21, where God has ordered all things by measure, number and weight.  This ancient Catholic belief informed the construction of these gigantic edifices.  God and his creation were in part linked by mathematics – a belief held by the ancient Greeks and in particular Pythagoras. 

 

The geometric proportionality of these constructions is simply remarkable.  Salisbury Cathedral in England, with one of the tallest spires in the world, is an example.  This Cathedral’s central crossing is 39 feet by 39 feet.  The central crossing is where the transept intersects the east-west axis.  This primary dimension becomes the basis for the rest of the Cathedral’s construction.  Both the length and the width of each of the nave’s ten bays is 19 feet six inches – or half the length of the central crossing.  The nave itself consists of 20 identical spaces measuring 19 feet six inches square, and another 10 spaces measuring 19 feet six inches by 39 feet.  It is geometrically exact.

 

Salisbury Cathedral, Built in The Style of Early English Gothic ...

(inside Salisbury Cathedral) 

 

Everything about these buildings reveals a supernatural inspiration.  The upward reach of the spire, the massive columns and stone, the light pouring into the nave, the grand entrance into a holy place, the brilliance and colour of the sanctuary, the decorations, the embossing of gold, the ceremony and pageantry of a mass; all of this and much more overawes the human with the greatness of the divine.  Far from being a ‘dark age’, this was an age of rationalism leading to engineering brilliance, an age of belief developing the underlying cultural fabric of Western civilisation, including its laws and mores.