Members need to revise their old “medieval bad, Renaissance good” prejudice.

November 2022 Forums General discussion Members need to revise their old “medieval bad, Renaissance good” prejudice.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 39 total)
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  • #234252
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Just thought a thread on this was called for. In several things Party members, like the general population, need to avail themselves of new discoveries, including in history, and to revise their Victorian and 20th century prejudices in certain things: attitudes and beliefs now disproven.

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Thomas_More.
    #234254
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    The idea that the Earth is flat was a Victorian fad. People have known the Earth is a globe since ancient Greek times.

    #234255
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    The first recorded, unambiguous European references to a spherical Earth are found in the work of ancient Greek philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle. By the time the Roman writer Pliny the Elder was writing the first part of his Natural History around AD 77, the fact that the Earth is a sphere was treated as common knowledge: ‘We all agree on the earth’s shape. For surely we always speak of the round ball of the Earth’ (Pliny, Natural History, II.64).

    https://blogs.bl.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/2018/05/the-earth-is-in-fact-round.html

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Thomas_More.
    #234258
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    BARBARIANS by Terry Jones.

    Google Books:

    A completely fresh approach to Roman history, this book not only offer readers the chance to see the Romans from a non-Roman perspective, it also reveals that most of those written off by the Romans as uncivilized, savage, and barbaric were in fact organized, motivated, and intelligent groups of people with no intentions of overthrowing Rome and plundering its Empire. This fascinating study does away with the propaganda and opens our eyes to who really established the civilized world. Delving deep into history, Terry Jones and Alan Ereira uncover the impressive cultural and technological achievements of the Celts, Goths, Persians, and Vandals. In this new paperback edition, Terry and Alan travel through 700 years of history on three continents, bringing wit, irreverence, passion, and the very latest scholarship to transform our view of the legacy of the Roman Empire and the creation of the modern world.

    #234259
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    MEDIEVAL LIVES by Terry Jones.

    Google Books:

    Terry Jones, actor, director, author and Python, approaches this most misrepresented and misunderstood’ period in history through its principal characters. Accompanying a TV series, the book addresses and redresses many of the stereotypical images we have of the Middle Ages. Each chapter deals with a major character’, opening with the medieval peasant, discussing his life and work, his status, village life in general, his relationship with the Church and the Peasants’ Revolt. After famine and Black Death, Jones turns his attention to secular and royal minstrels and entertainers, as well as medieval romance and epic tales. From here to the outlaws, gangs and legendary figures of the period, to the monk, the development of monasteries and religious orders, the crusades and Church power. The rest of the books is filled with tales of philosophers, alchemists, magicians, fraudsters, innovators and doctors, chivalric knights, damsels and, ultimately, the king himself. Written in an accessible and colloquial style, this is a great read for anyone wanting to get a glimpse of real Medieval Lives .

    #234260
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    THE DARK AGES, AN AGE OF LIGHT.

    Amazon:

    The Dark Ages have been misunderstood. History has identified the period following the fall of the Roman Empire with a descent into barbarism a terrible time when civilisation stopped. Waldemar Januszczak disagrees. In this landmark 4-part series Waldemar argues that the Dark Ages were a time of great artistic achievement, with new ideas and religions provoking new artistic adventures. He embarks on a fascinating trip across Europe, Africa and Asia, visits the world s most famous collections and discovers hidden artistic gems, all to prove that the Dark Ages were actually an Age of Light’. In the first episode the viewer will discover how Christianity emerged into the Roman Empire as an artistic force in the third and fourth centuries. Waldemar explores how Christian artists drew on images of ancient gods for inspiration, and developed new forms of architecture to contain their art. The second episode is dedicated to the Barbarians . Focusing on the Huns, Vandals and Goths, Waldemar follows each tribe’s journey across Europe, and discovers the incredible art they produced along the way. Along with Christianity the Dark Ages saw the emergence of another vital religion: Islam. This is the focus of Episode Three. Waldemar examines the early artistic explorations of the first Muslims, the development of the mosque, and their scientific achievements. In the final episode Waldemar looks towards the North of Europe. The Carolingians saw themselves as successors to Rome, reflected in their art. Elsewhere, the Vikings were constructing long ships with intricate decoration, and marking their territory with powerful rune stones.

    #234261
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Wikipedia:

    The Harvard professor Charles Homer Haskins was the first historian to write extensively about a renaissance that ushered in the High Middle Ages starting about 1070. In 1927, he wrote that:

    [The 12th century in Europe] was in many respects an age of fresh and vigorous life. The epoch of the Crusades, of the rise of towns, and of the earliest bureaucratic states of the West, it saw the culmination of Romanesque art and the beginnings of Gothic; the emergence of the vernacular literatures; the revival of the Latin classics and of Latin poetry and Roman law; the recovery of Greek science, with its Arabic additions, and of much of Greek philosophy; and the origin of the first European universities. The 12th century left its signature on higher education, on the scholastic philosophy, on European systems of law, on architecture and sculpture, on the liturgical drama, on Latin and vernacular poetry…[7]

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Thomas_More.
    #234263
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Deleted.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Thomas_More.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Thomas_More.
    #234269
    Wez
    Participant

    Crikey, what a dedicated revisionist you are TM. You’ll be rejecting the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages next. Be careful you don’t throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. Do you see the 20th century, as I do, as a true ‘Dark Age’ with the rise of the Fascist and Bolshevik varieties of capitalism?

    #234275
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Why would I reject the Stone Age etc? I am only rejecting the disproven view that the Middle Ages were a period of ignorance and stagnation between the so-called golden age of ancient Rome and the 15th century Renaissance.

    Did you know that the Renaissance reversed the progress of women, and that witch-hunting was a Renaissance invention? Racism too.

    Did you know that Rome was never sacked by the Goths, and that it was the Vandals who abolished the bloody Roman “Games”?

    Yes, in many ways I consider modern capitalism a far worse dark age than many aspects of the Middle Ages.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Thomas_More.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Thomas_More.
    #234278
    Wez
    Participant

    What are your thoughts on the ‘Enlightenment’? Is it essentially bourgeois ideology or a triumph of reason and science?

    #234279
    Wez
    Participant

    I remember watching this TV series many years ago – it made me reassess the ‘Dark Ages’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FlbP20Ex9c&list=PLBOXjuzxIKcom1QRkE0y62DyEt_4jkKw4

    #234283
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    “…Just thought a thread on this was called for. In several things Party members, like the general population, need to avail themselves of new discoveries, including in history, and to revise their Victorian and 20th century prejudices in certain things: attitudes and beliefs now disproven…”

    I find pre-Marx socialistic ideas a fascination, not just the Diggers but the religious heretics such as the Ranters

    https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-ranters-religious-libertines.html

    Or the earlier Taborites

    https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2013/05/sunday-sermon-taborites.html

    #234295
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    The Pursuit of the Millenium is a good recounting of radical sects, false messiahs and pseudo-Baldwins throughout the middle ages, which is very instructive.

    Speaking of Jones, his ‘Chaucer’s Knight’ is an entertaining (but slightly reaching) reading of the Knight’s tale: but I’d also recommend taking some time struggling with Chaucer for a slice of intellectual life in the middle ages.

    Seb Falks the Light ages is a good micro-history about monastic astronomy, including things like debates over when the day starts.

    A brief history of commercial capitalism “Rather than a picture centred solely on Europe, we enter a diverse and vibrant world. Banaji reveals the cantons of Muslim merchants trading in Guangzhou since the eighth century, the 3,000 European traders recorded in Alexandria in 1216, the Genoese, Venetians and Spanish Jews battling for commercial dominance of Constantinople and later Istanbul. We are left with a rich and global portrait of a world constantly in motion, tied together and increasingly dominated by a pre-industrial capitalism. The rise of Europe to world domination, in this view, has nothing to do with any unique genius, but rather a distinct fusion of commercial capitalism with state power.” (I need to get round to writing up a review for the standard).

    #234297
    LBird
    Participant

    Wez wrote: “What are your thoughts on the ‘Enlightenment’? Is it essentially bourgeois ideology or a triumph of reason and science?”

    This is the key question.

    Is ‘reason and science’ outside of ‘bourgeois ideology’?

    If the answer is ‘yes’, where does that leave Marx’s ideology of ‘modes of production’?

    On my part, I regard the ‘Enlightenment’ as a fundamental part of the emergence of capitalism, and so, that ‘reason and science’ are not universal truths, but ‘bourgeois reason’ and ‘bourgeois science’, and are both socio-historical products, that we can change.

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