|Merlin, you claim I'm being insulting but here you are using very same language you purport to be insulting. |
My first post on this thread (42) was pointing out to John A., with tact, his egregious error about Byzantine Christians being the sole custodians of the works of Aristotle. At that time I had no intention to post more. He had the chance to correct himself, but he chose a different tactic. He took offense, tried to defend his claim, and took even more offense when asked for citations to support his assertions. What a crime -- to doubt something John A. asserts!
I did provide citations. So I don't understand your objection here. But you on the other hand, provided no citations to suggest how Islamic scholars were even able to came across the texts of antiquity. Someone had to preserve them up until Islamic scholars had the opportunity to even read them, and you still can't answer that basic simple question.
I don't claim to be an expert on the history, but his claim didn't fit with any other accounts I had heard/read.
Oh that one book you and Phil read that now gives you enough knowledge to again skirt an explanation as to how Islamic scholars centuries later started translating and reading ancient Greek texts. That again, for some reason, excuses you from providing any historical evidence as to how these texts were available for consumption to the Islamic scholars.
I didn't initially name a great counterexample, but did a little later -- Andronicus of Rhodes. To deal with him John tries retrofitting his narrative rather than admit his error
Oh for crying out loud, a counterexample that was never actually a counterexample to anything I claimed! I didn't say the Byzantines even after Islamic scholars started reading Aristotle were still the sole custodians of the ancient Greek texts! You totally misunderstood the point of that position. So no, there was no retrofitting going on. You are just stubbornly refusing to and deliberately trying to not understand the narrative I was trying to put forth and the one that was patently false that Phillip proposed. It's not even a narrative I'm coming up with on my own, historians such as John Julius Norwich and Lars Bronsworth author of "Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization" make the same claims. Andronicus of Rome is centuries before there was any such thing as a "Christian World". This was a "Pagan World". Phillip made no claims about the Pagan world being the world of darkness, brute force, etc. He compared two religious worlds, so please Merlin if you don't mind let's stick to the actual historical context of the conversation.
Sorry, John, the story of the preservation of Aristotle's works begins with his death, not some date centuries later you arbitrarily pick to fit your story.
Merlin, since his death the Greco-Roman civilization preserved his texts. The Byzantines were simply an extension of that civilization (it was just another Greco-Roman civilization). From Aristotle's death on through to the Roman Era and then through the Byzantine era those texts were never lost (except a portion of them occasionally were lost through fire) They were lost to the Latin West when the Western Roman Empire fell. Again, you are deliberately trying to not understand my position. Why would you think by me saying "the Byzantines were the sole custodians of the ancient philosophical, historical and artistic texts" that it should mean they were the sole custodians ad inifinitium and always the custodian since before there even was an Eastern Roman Empire to begin with? Adronicus of Rome? Are you serious Merlin? Someone that existed almost 300 years before there was even such a thing as an Eastern Roman Empire? What time period did you think I was referring to as being "sole custodian"? Or were you just not aware of what period of history the Byzantine Empire belongs to?
That would be like objecting to someone saying: "America is the sole custodian of the Florida Everglades" and then you turning around and saying "But what about the Spanish and the Native American tribes!" Yeah well they may have well been the sole custodians prior, but not when America came around.
There is a simple answer to that -- you made the false "sole custodian" claim, not Phil. I'm not surprised if you didn't think of that.
1) The claim was not false, you just horribly mangled its meaning.
2) Phil was false on his narrative that: ", the muslim world was the peaceful world, the civilized world, the world which had great respect for the Greeks and reason and science and which revered, respected, and preserved the works of Aristotle and of science and enlightenment for those very reasons. If the muslim religion as such were the implacable problem, what about it made it more so than the Christian world of the time: The Christian world was the world of barbarism and force and an intellectual, moral, economic, epistemological dark ages. The Islamic world was the world of order, rule of law, trade, science, reason."
Of which he now admits was wrong and of which you had never demanded he provide any citations for his claims.
When Phillip made his appeal to the medieval Christian World as being in the "Dark Ages", this is only applicable to a specific Christian World (if by Dark Ages we take it to mean a loss of knowledge of antiquity). Namely the Christian World of Western Europe, the Latin West, the land area that was once part of the Western Roman Empire. The Greek East did not experience this "Dark Age". It did have rule of law, it did keep the knowledge of the ancient world. The historical world view of the entire European continent experiencing a dark age in medieval times is a view that is centuries old in modern academia, dating back to probably when Edward Gibbon wrote the "Decline and Fall of Roman Empire" in the late 18th century as he absolutely despised Christianity and Byzantium. That dismissive historical view of the Byzantine Empire had stuck around for a very long time in academia. Today it is an outdated view. Historians today often refer to the Byzantine Empire as "The Lost Empire". It's a fitting description, not only were they lost to the invading Turkish Armies, it was lost to the world of modern academia.
And this isn't some kind of nitpick, this is a particularly egregious historical error on Phil's part, in a post that he claimed he took a lot of time and care to write. Well reading one book isn't enough to put in the amount of time and care that is needed to start making broad sweeping historical claims like that.
(Edited by John Armaos on 7/28, 11:51am)