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Old November 6th, 2012, 11:40 AM   #1

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The real cause of the end off Classical (Greek-Roman) civilisation


Watch this interesting video:




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 6th, 2012, 12:22 PM   #2

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And the Classic world didn't finish with the fall of Rome in 476. It continued with the Byzantine empire up to 1456.
All worlds have an expiry date.


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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.
That is a learning for me. Thanx a lot.

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Just imagine that Islam wouldn't have appeared: would the Classic world have dissapeared? I don't think so.
Forces under some other banner would have destroyed the Classical (Greco-Roman) Civilization, in case Islam hadn't united the opposing forces. History is a constant interplay of forces. Sometimes they combine - sometimes they fragment.

I hope you are not suggesting that the Greco-Roman Civilization descended from the high heavens? There were people and civilizations and kingdoms before the Greeks and the Romans descended on their respective lands.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 01:41 PM   #3

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I always been of the position that the German invasions destroyed the Greco-Classical world not by destroying the culture itself but by permanently destroying the geo-political status quo that existed since the earliest times of the Empire and ushering a new world (the dark ages started way before the Muslim invasions), because as you said the Greco-Roman culture truly never died, the Germans tried their best to adopt a semblance Roman Culture and the Eastern Roman continued.

I would hardly call the Eastern Roman Empire a greco-classical civilization, it was really so radically different from what came before, though of course it had more ties with the past than the others.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 02:15 PM   #4

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This is a bit scary...The way he puts it. He sounds like a very biased republican "scientist".
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Old November 6th, 2012, 02:21 PM   #5

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That the Germans wanted to assimilate into the Roman civilization isn't tottaly wrong, they wanted to be heirs of the Romans. As for the Muslims I'm not sure. Alexandria was still flourishing until that period, but we know very well that when the Muslims went to the post-Hellenistic areas they took much of the ancient knowledge. But we also know that there have been massive migrations of Christians from the Middle East towards the Byzantine Empire after the Arab invasions.

In any case I believe that the real Classical Graeco-Roman civilization ended before Muslims. The Byzantines may have kept the ancient knowledge but that doesn't mean that they were a classical civilization.

Last edited by Yaunâ; November 6th, 2012 at 02:27 PM.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 03:31 PM   #6

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Originally Posted by Carpathian View Post
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 ).
The main source of food for the Byzantine Empire was the Byzantine Empire. Yes, that's right: the Byzantine Empire fed itself from its land all over the place, just as all pre-modern agrarian societies have. Egypt fed Constantinople, and there is no evidence that grain shipments ever re-continued after Egypt was retaken by Herakleios. I do, however, think that Islam was a contributing factor in the end of classical culture, but not at all in the way that the video above describes. For one, it is clear that the fabric of urban life which made up classical culture continued rather strongly for more than a century under Islamic rule, which is a lot more than can be said of Byzantine territory, where what little remained of urban life was decisively destroyed by the 650s, and a lot of that damage seems to initially have been caused by the Persians. The issue with the cities is that many classical cities had been destroyed by foreigners and they usually were rebuilt. This time they weren't which points to internal problems as well. The second point is that the traditional aristocracy of the Roman east really begins to disappear in the seventh and eighth centuries. These wealthy landholders in service of the state had traditionally been the ones to uphold Graeco-Roman high culture, but we see them replaced in government positions and military commands by men (always men) of uncertain ancestry. Many of these new men are certainly Caucasian, but there is such a wide variety of bizarre names that appear in the sources and the seals of this period that we cannot assume they are all from the Caucasus. These men did not grow up reading Homer, and they didn't have to learn it, as they were too busy fighting the Arabs.

On a minor pedantic point, the Muslims never conquered Judea. They conquered Palestina Prime, Palestina Secunda, and Palestina Tertia.

This guy also claims that the barbarian kingdoms retained classical culture. This is true to a degree, but as a blanket statement seriously misrepresents that variety of culture and divergent traditions in the west.

Three hundred at "Thallipoli"? I gave up after listening to his crap on the Persians, which is frankly pretty terrible. I can recommend some good academic material on this period, and it's not this video. A PhD in mathematics does not make one a competent historian, as demonstrated above.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 08:08 PM   #7
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I would hardly call the Eastern Roman Empire a greco-classical civilization, it was really so radically different from what came before, though of course it had more ties with the past than the others.
If the Eastern Empire wasn't a Greco-Classical civilization, neither was the Western one under Constantine.

Classical civilization died as the remnant East de-urbanized with the Islamic capture of Egypt and Syria and the end of grain flows from these areas to the urban Balkan and Anatolian regions. This isn't a 'judgment', just an observation of the decline of city living and the rise of a rural culture.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 03:22 AM   #8

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I would argue that classical civilisation has not entirely died out. Some nations have law that emulate if not descend indirectly from classical times, others have constitutions that enshrine classical ideas. Also, the christian church has preserved not only the Roman language, but many customs and practises as well.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 03:32 AM   #9

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On a minor pedantic point, the Muslims never conquered Judea. They conquered Palestina Prime, Palestina Secunda, and Palestina Tertia.
I used the previous name of the province, not the one Romans invented to insult the Jews after their revolts.



Quote:
A PhD in mathematics does not make one a competent historian, as demonstrated above.
Agree, anyway he has a good idea, that Islam contributed significantly to the end of classic world. That is very different than the established theory which usually doesn't mention this.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 05:04 AM   #10

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Agree, anyway he has a good idea, that Islam contributed significantly to the end of classic world. That is very different than the established theory which usually doesn't mention this.
It's not original at all, though. Even as early as the 1930s scholars under Henri Pirenne saw Islam as a major disruptive force in the Mediterranean. I don't have Gibbon, Rostovtzeff or A.H.M. Jones with me, but I'd wager they gave it a role long before Pirenne. If his site is anything to go on, I can't help but feel that this guy puts his bigoted views before that of his "scholarship."
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