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Old November 17th, 2012, 11:36 AM   #31
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It's not even like muslims conquered Egypt, North Africa and the Near East in a brutal way anyway. Most of the cities they conquered were simply handed down with no bloodshed or were kept intact for a tribute. Even if it would have been violent, there was no ''western civilization'' or ''classical world'' to destroy. If one would have wandered in a town then they would have seen a significant number of churches, buildings built on ancient paved roads, and quite a different overall urban plan than what is presented as ''a perfect roman city during the classical period''.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 07:47 PM   #32

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Classical culture sort of tumbled mainly during Justinian's reign, and largely as a result of Justinians destructive wars which caused violence, starvation, and the spread of disease. The Islamic invasion was largely an easy task due to the huge dissatisfaction with Constantinople across the world. Of all of the successor states of the Roman Empire, the Caliphates were by far the most culturally and economically productive, taking regions of the former empire to unprecedented levels of prosperity and advancement.

To say the Islamic invasions were the main cause of the collapse of classical culture would be the opposite of what actually happened. The Caliphates did a lot more to rebuild Roman structures and preserve and advance on Roman knowledge and culture than any of the other successor states. Also, they didn't squash Christian culture either, it was more or less a slow conversion over centuries - and it was never ever complete since Christianity descended from the classical times still exists in these regions; and even the taxes which Christians paid were trivial when compared to the troubles and oppressions in Christendom and the Byzantine Empire.

Last edited by Theodoric; November 17th, 2012 at 07:53 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 09:03 PM   #33

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Haven't watched the video, but based on the description given in the OP, it sounds like a version of the "Pirenne Thesis".
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Old November 19th, 2012, 07:34 AM   #34

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Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
In general terms it seems we tend to agree; however Why?
Yes, that's the key question! If my statement is wrong, then we are the Greek-Roman-Christian civilization Better than that, we would be the Egyptian-Babylonian-Crete-Greek-Roman-Western civilization. Each utilized the lessens of the past and grew from its culture.
You could even claim the Babylonian-Persian-Muslim civilization as well.

I think the thing to do is broaden the concept of the ideology that binds us into our society and its civilization is formed to include everything the people believe because the bulk of the population of any society has its own ideological closed system of thinking. We have to have these ideological systems to bind us into societies. We are evolved primates, after all, ones that evolved in small groups for millions of years.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 09:32 AM   #35
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Cause of the end of Classical (more Roman than Greek) civilisation are not Germans or Arabs. Cause of its end is simply that aggressive, expansionist civilisations like that of Romans starts contracting once they stop expanding.

Power of the Roman civilisation was drawn from its conquests. It is not coincidence that once Rome expanded beyond Italy, its border provinces became source of its political, economic and military power. It was in border provinces where emperors were chosen (beginning with Caesar basically), it was there Roman legion recruited their soldiers and it was there wealth and slaves which flew back to centre originated.

At the end of Empire, Italy itself was relatively unimportant and capital was not in Rome any-more.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 12:31 PM   #36

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Originally Posted by Belloc View Post
Haven't watched the video, but based on the description given in the OP, it sounds like a version of the "Pirenne Thesis".
Somewhat, although with a "crazy nut" right-wing bent to it by a guy who isn't an historian and with a much greater focus on violence than trade axes. At one point he admits he's not an historian. It's not like he needed to tell us that. It was so obvious.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 01:55 PM   #37
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Oh please, now while he has a point about mainstream historians apologizing and pandering to Islam and Muslims, many of his points are based on emotion rather than unbiased research. Why does he not tell his audience that it was the Christian Byzantine Emperor Justinian who ordered closed the Classical Philosophy Schools in Athens or around the Empire. Also Why does he not discuss the constant infighting between Christians, The inquisition, the Fighting and discrimination against the Jews by Christians. Heck many of the Jews in Spain went to Andalus because they had more freedom as Dhimis in Islam than they did in Christian empires of the time.

Also why is he trying to make Med. civilization exclusively "European" and Christianity at that some how European. The fact is the Med. covers 3 distnct lands harboring distinct people. Africans/Europeans/Asiatic etc. Also for his rant that Egypt was "Med" and not African to have an iota of truth he would simply have to dismiss the 3000 yr history where Egypt traded and dealt with Africans such as the Puntites, Nubians and Lybians while they had very little interest in Europeans outside the Greeks and Creatans. Fact is Egypt's origins are African plain and simple, Egypt became Med. when Alexander conquered it well after the fall of Native rule.

All in All, he makes some good points but his emotion keeps him from delivering sound rational history accurately.

Originally Posted by Carpathian View Post
Watch this interesting video:

Why We Are Afraid, A 1400 Year Secret, by Dr Bill Warner

If you don't have patience to watch it entirely, here's the idea: German barbarians who attacked Roman empire were not the cause of its falling and of the end of Classic (Greek-Roman) civilisation. The German conquerors of the former territory of Roman empire in Western Europe adopted the Roman culture, they didn't want its end but to assimilate themselves into it.

And the Classic world didn't finish with the fall of Rome in 476. It continued with the Byzantine empire up to 1456.

The real destroyers of the Classic world were the Muslim invaders, who conquered Egypt - the main source of food for the Byzantine empire, Syria - its centers of science and education, Judea - the religious centers, thus leading to its fatal weakening and further decline.

Just imagine that Islam wouldn't have appeared: would the Classic world have dissapeared? I don't think so.

The theory that German invasions in Late Antiquity put an end to Roman empire and Classic culture is wrong, a big lie (not a conspiration anyway ).
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Old November 21st, 2012, 04:55 AM   #38
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There were many different factors which contributed to the 'Fall of Rome'. To name a few; economic factors, invasions, political instability etc.

I found that this page explains the fall of the Roman Empire very well;
The Fall of Rome
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Old December 7th, 2012, 06:51 PM   #39

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He references the Black Death when the time frame he is talking about is in the 600s. The bubonic plague won't be a huge factor until 600 years later.

I can't believe he completely writes off all the scientific advancement that occurred under Islamic rule during the 750s-1200s, then basically goes on to say Islam has not created anything of worth, and was even detrimental to society at the time. Of course I will agree that after the philosophic writings of Al-Ghazali and the sack of Baghdad the Islamic world did become a scientific backwater.

He lists all these grievances that he says took place in Islamic Spain, which I assume was extremely fabricated, but doesn't tell the audience that his perfect Non-Islamic Roman Empire had 1/3 of it's population in slavery.

As far as I am concerned the Islamic world from the 700s-1100s was a contributor to classical medicinal, scientific, and technological thought, not a destroyer, and I bet it was a hell of a lot nicer to live in an Islamic city than basically anywhere else in the world.

Last edited by zwolf1215; December 7th, 2012 at 07:16 PM.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 07:03 PM   #40

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Roman civilization disappeared entirely after 700. This is what a decline is; classical civilization began it's decline perhaps in the 2nd century; few of you here perhaps know of the accounts of the berbers and arabs upon their subjegation of the south of spain. I do not have the quote at hand, but I believe they commented on the impressiveness of Seville and Malaca. These cities were, by all standards, decaying substantially since the gothic domination of the peninsula, especially after the 600's, but were by no means "ruined cities" or "ghost towns".

Civilization decline involves a long, complex, drawn-out process of ruralization, de-culturization, and a localizaing and simplification of daily life and the economy. What occured in the mediterranean and across mesopotamia/fars was the political, economic, societal, and urban fabric of the roman and parthian realms disintegrating.

For example: by 850, Alexandria, Carthage, Marseille, Antioch, Ephesus, and the Mesopotamian hellenistic cities were all almost entirely withered. After the Crusades, I believe that Antioch ceased to play any roll at all in Islamic Civilization.

In 650, Carthage was still easily one of the Largest urban centers in the west (between marseille, cordoba, malaca, and maybe even narbonne). The city and it's environs had withered just as much as any other province (which was bad, but they still operated the way they used to, mostly) but it was the first region of the west to experience conquest by Islam. Because of this, it directly declined dramatically in the next 50 years. North africa was a bloody conquest for Islam, no doubt. As far as I know, two cities in the region were razed entirely, along woth their harbours: Carthage and Utica. This was, in contrast with previous islamic expeditions, a violent struggle. The urban fabric of north africa was gone by the end of this, while the northern mediterranean had time to experience economic stagnation due to the amputation of this region off the mediterranean.

This is really the way in which Islam affected the classical world in the West; but, it was not the catalyst of any decline per se; rather it was the final blow to the Roman west which gave Europe the economic and geographical requirements for a "Europe" to emerge. I can, in another post, easily comment on the earlier decline of this society, which gave rise to this situation in the first place, and ultimately had more of an effect on the disappearance of the Roman Mediterranean than the Islamic conquests did.

Remember, the Arabs did only one thing: occupy a political vaccum.

Last edited by The Black Knight; December 7th, 2012 at 07:15 PM. Reason: Adding more
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