Date of publication: 2017-08-31 03:23
For the 7nd time in history, Western Europe finds itself beset by outside barbarians from a completely foreign culture and on the verge of collapse. Like Rome, very few men in The West have any interest in saving it because 8775 the empire 8776 simply no longer works for them. The difference is back then, Christianity was a new cult, just one of many possible answers to metaphysical questions on the nature of the universe and Man. Today, Christianity is 7555 years old and the current Catholic Pope made a historic first in allowing prayer readings from the Quran.
While true faith drove many into the arms of the Church, many others were driven purely by pragmatism and the daily grind of living and surviving in a social world undergoing cataclysmic change. With widespread adoption by both the masses and the political class, top to bottom, Christianity was forced to accommodate and include the majority world view of conquered pagan tribes of the day if it wanted broad acceptance. Also of note is that Christianity 8767 s adoption was not overnight. Paganism still persisted for many centuries until the states we know now as Europe came together and barbarian Kings like Charlemagne made a bloody push to rid Europe of all pagans.
The result was the creation of a powerful and long lasting patriarchal world view that bound men in common cause. This matriarchal pagan synthesis with patriarchal monotheism created a highly unique culture that did not exist anywhere else in the world. It re-birthed and united the best of Greece and Rome (philosophy and democracy) with the total triumph of patriarchy (man as head of house and state), now divinely sanctioned based on the absolute truth of reality: God is one and clearly male/masculine.
Remember: Christianity too was once seen as an invading cult by another long lived and glorious empire with a centuries old religious tradition and world view. Many Roman emperors tried to eradicate it, some more zealous than others. The parallels to Trump 8767 s ban on Muslims and the increasing backlash against Islam in The West should be pretty easy to see to those with an unbiased view of history. I am not betting that history will suddenly change course and chalk up a win for underdog Christianity against invading and militant Islam this time round. It is possible, but the history bookies are placing some very high odds against it.
A large part of the population were 'idle mouths' senators, the army, the clergy. The barbarians put additional external pressure on an already weakened economic system.
Trade was still active in Marseilles and the Provencal ports, with trade from the East entering Mediterranean Gaul, while no great change took place to intellectual life.
Islam, for all its claims to be unbending and unyielding to change or reform, is not a monolith. It is a living religion like any other in the past. Islam WILL change with it 8767 s likely take over of the formerly Christian West. How is this possible you ask? The same way it did under Constantine. Once the dust settled and Christianity was accepted as the new religion of the fading empire.
Gibbon, Chater 88: the decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness' Discuss the true definition of 'decline and fall' - did the Roman Empire decline and fall? YES, but the question of 'late antiquity' looks at the Roman 'world' culture, religion etc, answering effectively two different questions.
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Barbarians did destroy the empire, not as an external pressure but by undermining the empire from within by trying to imitate a society that was not theirs and to which they had no allegiance.
Sees the 'ultimate problem' (p987) 'Is [that] not every civilization bound to decay as soon as it begins to penetrate the masses?' and that to create a lasting civilisation should be 'not one of class, but of the masses'
The funny thing I learned watching this History series, and never really thought about or made the connection before, was that the barbarians that destroyed Rome were us!
'The author is to be congratulated on a suggestive and valuable essay.' -- English Historical Review
'Shows thought and enterprise and freshness of judgement.' --Times Literary Supplement
Argues that the Roman administration gave up the right to taxation in the areas of barbarian settlement and that the money was directed to them instead of the central government.
Seeck, 6 volumes from 6895 - 6976, covering from emergence of Constantine in 855 to the deposition of Romulus Augustus in 976 - detailed but doesn't cover the same range of topics as Jones