- Jun 2016
- A Shell of Steel
It's not being fallacious, it's about being inaccurate. In my opinion.
Geographic Europe is one thing, cultural Europe is another thing.
Geographic Europe is delimited at East by Ural mountains, at South East by Caspian Sea and Caucasian Mountains today. But I suppose we agree that very few see as "European tradition" what's at East of today Poland and Romania.
Back to Greek: they were a Mediterranean civilization, and You will find almost nothing influencing, bringing something relevant form the core of geographical Europe (today's Czechoslovakia for example). Asia Minor, on the other hand was determinant. Think Troy, think Alexandria, aso.
It isn't different for ancient Rome: geographic core of Europe was periphery, even dispensable. Not Mid-East, not Northern Africa. Think about: what brought Germans to Rome and what brought Egypt for example?
Even in early Christianity: how much came from the Germanic, or Gallic or Slavic areal and how much from Asia minor?
Okay, I understand what you are saying here I think. I just don't really see why it is a problem. That much of Europe was not culturally relevant to Greece and Roman empire whereas something like Egypt might have had more relevance. So we are saying that the cultural communities were different from the end of the classical periods to what we call the middle ages and so on.
And that it would be later that Europe started to develop something closer to a European consciousness as opposed to a Roman or Greek consciousness. And that while Rome and Greece might have been geographically in Europe they did not find that categorization culturally relevant or relevant to the development of their culture and civilization.
This seems to me more or less what you are saying, I hope I am not distorting it? I am rephrasing it so you can tell me if I've understood.
The reason I don't see this as a problem is because even if European cultural consciousness developed later, it still included the inheritence of the Greeks and Romans in a way that it did not include areas outside of Europe. Also because European consciousness later developed based around this geographical region, what is within this region becomes important for our consciousness and self-understanding, despite there being a shift perhaps in civilizations. (I'm thinking of the perspectives here of eg. Spengler, Toynbee, etc.) I also think this consciousness is compounded by the continuity that existed before and after the fall of Rome, eg. I gave before Boethius and neo-platonic philosophy.
I'd like to discuss further this line of reasoning you brought up. Perhaps you still see a problem with what I have just said?