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Thread: History enthusiasts

  1. #61

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Quote Originally Posted by KageKageKing View Post
    Man, compared to Europe, Japan was kinda having a good time during the Dark Age.
    Yeah because the Dark Age was soley a Western European concept and in fact a fair amount of the world was doing just fine or even undergoing a golden age.

  2. #62

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Middle Times was always the most depressing subject in History Class.

  3. #63

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    My middle/high school had some awesome history teachers. In 8th grade modern US history we spent much of the second half of the course writing an 8 page research paper on any topic following a certain theme (I think it was "multiple versions of history depending on whose side it is?") while also doing fun in-class activities such as simulating the White House response to the Cuban Missile Crisis. My paper was on Sacco and Vanzetti so I know all about how much of a clusterfuck that trial was. We also had a research paper during the first half of American History in 11th grade which I did on the Marshall Plan. I enjoy learning about history, although the fact that essays are still my biggest nightmare is why I'm majoring in Comp Sci or Math.

    I haven't done much with looking into history stuff nowadays besides reading things online but my dad is the big history nut in the family so I might take a look at some of his books. It's kind of embarrassing that a lot of random tidbits that I DO know are from this forum and Wikipedia articles while huge books are just so intimidating to sit down and read right now.

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    Oh yeah, also learned about the Moors and Muslim Spain during the Spanish class I took in 7th grade. Doesn't sound like it would be a bad place to live tbh (before the conquistadors came at least...)

  4. #64

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Truth View Post
    Oh yeah, also learned about the Moors and Muslim Spain during the Spanish class I took in 7th grade. Doesn't sound like it would be a bad place to live tbh (before the conquistadors came at least...)
    It's kind of strange to see how chill and science minded early Islam was.

  5. #65
    UNTITLED xan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfwood View Post
    It's kind of strange to see how chill and science minded early Islam was.
    I believe it was only during the mid 1900's the concepts of Salafi Jihadism and Wahhabism were introduced. They were quite okay before that
    “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression."

  6. #66

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    As a maths nerd I am eternally grateful to ancient Arab civilisations laying down the groundwork in the areas of trigonometry, algebra and number theory. My religious background be damned.

  7. #67
    King of Little Sisters ~ Chrior's Avatar
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    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Quote Originally Posted by xan View Post
    I believe it was only during the mid 1900's the concepts of Salafi Jihadism and Wahhabism were introduced. They were quite okay before that
    It's true that the 1900s were the big turning point that gave us the kind of Islam we see today, but the religion had already set on a path of conservatism and more close mindedness much earlier. It had to do as much with religious developments per se as with social/economic/political developments, with the centre of Islamic civilization being basically devastated by steppe peoples (can't remember if Turks or Mongols or what have you). Still, the Ottoman Empire wasn't half bad and it's dismemberment and subsequent European interventions were crucial to what happened last century to muslim peoples (mostly arabs, but not only). I think Zephos could explain this better than I did, but yeah.

  8. #68

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrior View Post
    It's true that the 1900s were the big turning point that gave us the kind of Islam we see today, but the religion had already set on a path of conservatism and more close mindedness much earlier. It had to do as much with religious developments per se as with social/economic/political developments, with the centre of Islamic civilization being basically devastated by steppe peoples (can't remember if Turks or Mongols or what have you). Still, the Ottoman Empire wasn't half bad and it's dismemberment and subsequent European interventions were crucial to what happened last century to muslim peoples (mostly arabs, but not only). I think Zephos could explain this better than I did, but yeah.
    The Ottoman Empire was pretty bad by the time it died though. It became a clusterfuck of ethnic cleansing and genocidal events from first Sultans then the Young Turks.
    And while that was mostly aimed at Christian subjects (Greeks, Assyrians, Armenians), even most non-Turkish Muslim peoples were also agitating to be free.
    Albanians had their mountaineer pride and history of stubborn independence, so they didn't cry to see the empire fall, and much of the Arab population was already semi-independent or agitating for something better.
    The Ottomans genuinely saw themselves as more European oriented, they seriously neglected the Middeastern provinces and it's no surprise the British were able to rally Arabs to fight the Turks in WW1 because of that.
    Aside from that, Egypt had basically been independent through most of the 19th century, much of North Africa had always been more vassal than province.
    Yemen had barely been held by the Turks and they had to keep sending armies down there to try and tame it.
    And the Nejd (from which the Saudi's sprang) was never truly conquered for the same issue.

    Some of the major problems that have lead to modern fundamentalism include the social clashes in modern Arab states where the older more normal religious authority has been either crushed by dictators, or co-opted by dictators. The old religious social order in effect has been crushed in many of these countries, leading to a spiritual vacuum that wild eyed conservative modernist crazies have filled up. Remember how after a certain societal upheaving state crushing war in Europe mixed with domestic misfortune lead to wild eyed conservative modernists?
    Also the rise of the Saudi state is a big problem.
    A bunch of backwards uber-hicks from the middle of nowhere Arabia (Nejd) were allowed to take over the cosmopolitan center of Islam (Hejaz), and impose their insane fundamentalism (Wahhabi) on it and from there the whole Muslim world. And then they got Scrooge McDuck rich off of oil, further advancing their ability to spread their influence.

  9. #69

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Quote Originally Posted by xan View Post
    I believe it was only during the mid 1900's the concepts of Salafi Jihadism and Wahhabism were introduced. They were quite okay before that
    Eh it had been going downhill quite a bit before that too. The Ulama had been busy codifying and narrowing down what was religiously acceptable for a long time, and their attempts at regulating what was proper intellectual, social and religious behaviour seriously cramped the style of the scientists and scholars. A far cry from the ecumenical, progressive ways of the Abassidian caliphate.

  10. #70

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfwood View Post
    Eh it had been going downhill quite a bit before that too. The Ulama had been busy codifying and narrowing down what was religiously acceptable for a long time, and their attempts at regulating what was proper intellectual, social and religious behaviour seriously cramped the style of the scientists and scholars. A far cry from the ecumenical, progressive ways of the Abassidian caliphate.
    Islam isn't really centralized enough for that to matter quite that much though.
    Nothing like the Catholic church even in the vaguely Catholic/Orthodox Shia form.
    Ulema I'm pretty sure function more like scholarly authority rather than straight up "WE SAY SO, WERE THE BOSSES" type people like the Vatican is supposed to be regarded as.
    And the Ulema aren't like one guy or thing either, so you'll have em' disagreeing with eachother. Potentially night and day disagreements. This is human beings interpreting a book. So of course it ends up like that.

    The thing going on in modern Islam is really more that these traditional (yes quite possibly conservative old stuffy fellows) sources of spiritual authority are disregarded largely. They've been co-opted or crushed by dictators, losing life or credibility depending.
    And the more extreme ones have gained credence also as a result, because when in crisis it's rarely the Gandhi esque figures people run to. Quite the opposite.

    Younger hot-headed less educated movements are filling that gap in Sunni Islam. Al-Qaeda took inspiration not from any contemporary religious scholars but from this guy.
    While the wellspring of poison eminanting from the Saudi state did have I guess technically an Ulema behind Wahabbism...it was some coocoo from the middle of nowhere. Basically rural xenophobic ultra-conservativism unluckily getting broadcast around the globe.

    Shiism has it's own situation going on though kind of. With the scholars actually essentially taking control of Iran and all. But hey, tough as it can be to perceive Iran all and all is more measured in it's lashing outs than the young hothead fountains that is Salafism, Al Qaeda, and ISIS.

    WITHIN Iran we have disagreements from their scholars. There have been some high ranked guys who have mentioned "Hey guys, you think maybe having religion become the state is actually poisoning and corrupting the religion and turning people against it? I think this Iranian Revolution thing might be the worst idea EVER!".

  11. #71

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    I feel like the reason the Byzantine Empire is sort of swept under the rug is because it doesn't really add up to the incredibly masculine and glorious ideals of the roman empire. Especially in conjunction with the period of time the italians started glorifying ancient culture.

    The downtrodden, weakened and battered nation with the shrinking towns, dirt roads, fluctuating economy and constant losses in the battlefield didn't really live up to the marble palaces and statues of ancient Rome. Even though it survived up for almost a thousand years, I feel like the glorious aspects of the romans had already been claimed by the german emperors. And the fact that the late reign of Constantinople had almost nothing in common at all with Rome's glory days, not even language or the title of their leader puts them even further from their supposed right to carry the roman legacy. The byzantines should rather than just being the Eastern roman empire ( although it's technically correct ) be viewed as a unique, standalone successor kingdom of Rome.

  12. #72
    The English Avenger Satsuki's Avatar
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    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Quote Originally Posted by KageKageKing View Post
    Can someone put a summary of Japanese History, citing the eras and daimyos?


    Quote Originally Posted by Jameswuds View Post
    I feel like the reason the Byzantine Empire is sort of swept under the rug is because it doesn't really add up to the incredibly masculine and glorious ideals of the roman empire. Especially in conjunction with the period of time the italians started glorifying ancient culture.

    The downtrodden, weakened and battered nation with the shrinking towns, dirt roads, fluctuating economy and constant losses in the battlefield didn't really live up to the marble palaces and statues of ancient Rome. Even though it survived up for almost a thousand years, I feel like the glorious aspects of the romans had already been claimed by the german emperors. And the fact that the late reign of Constantinople had almost nothing in common at all with Rome's glory days, not even language or the title of their leader puts them even further from their supposed right to carry the roman legacy. The byzantines should rather than just being the Eastern roman empire ( although it's technically correct ) be viewed as a unique, standalone successor kingdom of Rome.


    I really love this series. It doesn't cover everything, but it's great short history.

  13. #73

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    As much as I love extra credits and their history series I really recommend to watch the last episode, the disclaimer (or "Lies"-episode), of every segment beforehand. I don't like it when wrong stuff hits the brain first. It's more difficult to get it out again.
    "Often I think about my many comrades fallen by my side. I heard their curses against the war and its authors, the revolt against their murder. And I, as a survivor, believe that I am inspired by their will to struggle, for the idea of peace and human fraternity."
    Corp. Barthas, France, Feb. 1919

  14. #74

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Satsuki View Post
    That Matsudara boy(Tokugawa Ieyasu) reiminds me of Kaido LoL.

  15. #75

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey King View Post
    Islam isn't really centralized enough for that to matter quite that much though.
    Nothing like the Catholic church even in the vaguely Catholic/Orthodox Shia form.
    Back during the golden age they mattered alot though. And when they gradually started to narrow the confines of what was deemed acceptable to suggest, debate about, or claim, (for instance there's their claim that the previously favoured Greek philosophy was against Islam) it made life harder for scholars, philosophers, sufists, branch offs and just anybody in general who wasn't totally in favour of literal scriptural study.

    Though you could argue that they never stopped being important 'til like the early 1800's. Since most of the figures who laid the foundations for modern Islam based their thoughts on opposing the lack of reform and stagnation that the Ulama stood behind. I mean Afghani, Abduh, Khan and Iqbal, different though they may be, all kick of from the unresponsive, backwards, stifling atmosphere that was supported by the Ulama.

    Ulema I'm pretty sure function more like scholarly authority rather than straight up "WE SAY SO, WERE THE BOSSES" type people like the Vatican is supposed to be regarded as.
    And the Ulema aren't like one guy or thing either, so you'll have em' disagreeing with eachother. Potentially night and day disagreements. This is human beings interpreting a book. So of course it ends up like that.
    Yeah that was how it was supposed to be, and for a while was. Didn't stay that open for too long though, i think even around 900ish the ability for Joe scholar to argue outside of the confines that were set by the ulama were somewhat limited. And they didn't really get all that more keen on open debate and "outsider" knowledge as time went on either, especially not when it was unfiltered Christian knowledge that didn't even go through the Arabization/Islamization process that the Greek works had done around 700ish.


    The thing going on in modern Islam is really more that these traditional (yes quite possibly conservative old stuffy fellows) sources of spiritual authority are disregarded largely. They've been co-opted or crushed by dictators, losing life or credibility depending.
    And the more extreme ones have gained credence also as a result, because when in crisis it's rarely the Gandhi esque figures people run to. Quite the opposite.
    Yeah most of the modern reforms are from people rebelling against the traditional authority.

    It's too traditional, we need to Islamize science again, it's god's punishment for not being literal enough etc.

    The lines of reasoning are pretty varied. But most seem are in some form a reaction to being "beneath" Christianity/colonialists.

  16. #76

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Jameswuds View Post
    I feel like the reason the Byzantine Empire is sort of swept under the rug is because it doesn't really add up to the incredibly masculine and glorious ideals of the roman empire. Especially in conjunction with the period of time the italians started glorifying ancient culture.
    It does for a good chunk of it's first half though. With that one emperor who nearly reconquered the whole old empire.
    Seriously it's really just that it's (largely) outside of Western European historical and religious development, so Western Europeans and their former colonies neglect it.
    The downtrodden, weakened and battered nation with the shrinking towns, dirt roads, fluctuating economy and constant losses in the battlefield didn't really live up to the marble palaces and statues of ancient Rome.
    That sounds like Western Rome. And Eastern Rome in the previous Millenia.
    But Eastern Rome was super powerful on all those fronts for the roughly 500 years after West Rome died.
    Even though it survived up for almost a thousand years, I feel like the glorious aspects of the romans had already been claimed by the german emperors.
    Roman glory split with the two halves.
    The Franks eventually claimed Roman continuity of a sort, which passed into the cultural memories of all the area around that. And much more literally with the Holy Roman Empire.
    The Frankish Empire being the nexus from which all Western European cultural memory passed.

    Meanwhile the glory of the Eastern half gets claimed by Russians, Serbians, Greeks, and even kind of some Turks.

    So much of this is informed as well by the split in the church. Catholic can be understood to be the same as being plugged into that Frankish originated western world. Dragging in eastern peoples like the Poles and Croats.
    While Eastern Orthodox peoples are ones who were plugged into the narratives that came from and from the ruins of Byzantium. At least in Europe since Georgia and Armenia have their own histories of Christianity separate from any Roman anything. Same with Ethiopians.
    And the fact that the late reign of Constantinople had almost nothing in common at all with Rome's glory days, not even language or the title of their leader puts them even further from their supposed right to carry the roman legacy.
    Orthodox Europeans don't care about Latin. Greek = Roman to them. Cyrillic script was devised largely to accodomate the spread of Christianity among Slavic people, and the process of creating it involved building off some aspects of Greek writing. The Greeks who had never been subsumed by the Romans, and had always spoke Greek during the entire period. Much like Latin also made no inroads in other Roman provinces that had long histories of civilization before the Romans. Egyptians didn't adopt Latin, and neither did the Levant. Latin remained in Rome and the wilder areas of Europe that the Romans took over. Which incidentally is pretty much all of Western Europe that they touched.

    When Russians were talking about recapturing Constantinople in the 1800's it was because of it's heavy legacy as Roman to Russians. Which is how Greeks perceive it as well, as their golden age city. Not Athens, the ugly has been that got turned into a huge metro areas from a sickly ancient provincial town.

    This is just a really big fundamental divide between the halves of Europe.

    The byzantines should rather than just being the Eastern roman empire ( although it's technically correct ) be viewed as a unique, standalone successor kingdom of Rome.
    Why? There is direct continuity and absolutely nobody in those times doubted it. It would essentially be historical revisionism in favor of a specifically western viewpoint to deny it that title.
    Rome was a state entity, then several state entities. It isn't defined as being glorious and powerful, it's defined by being the same state.
    Should we not count 1700's USA as the USA because it's not a world superpower? It just doesn't make sense.
    The closest thing you have to a point is trying to paint the East as a rump state, but it became a rump state hundreds of years after the west was dead. I can understand trying to say that say... the reconstituted Byzantine Empire after the 4th crusade shouldn't entirely count. But that was waaaaay late in it's lifetime.

  17. #77

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Just saw a book that made me realize i've missed a whole interesting subsection.

    It's about the history of African cuisine. Now i just need to collect the whole global set lol

    --- Update From New Post Merge ---

    I of course assume that someone already did a book about the potato. The spud that saved Europe

  18. #78

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfwood View Post
    Back during the golden age they mattered alot though.
    In which states? Where were they based?
    By the point you're talking, with the collapse of things to Mongols and Timurs we have dozens of states just in areas now considered Arab. Many of them at eachother's throats. With differing approaches to Islam to begin with. Where was there a center of Ulema conservatism that was clamping down on such things and simultaneously holding enough influences at all the different courts, while also agreeing with each-other across space? I just have a hard time believing that a time where disunity was a part of the problem...also had unity as part of the problem.
    If we were starting to see conservatism ramp up after the nomadic apocalypses then what seems the case then is a constant sense of crisis and stress that would have been evident on all levels of society rather than just random religious scholars.
    So pointing to them seems to be missing the larger issue.

    Not that peace = progress exactly (see: Tokugawa Japan). But severe crisis and shifting fragmentation seems the real culprit of not to much building conservatism as stagnation.

  19. #79

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey King View Post
    In which states? Where were they based?
    I don't belive they were based anywhere particular, anywhere a state claimed to ahere to mainstream sharia there were members of the Ulama present. But i think the oldest madrasa school is located in Medina, if i'm not remembering incorrectly. But most of the groups who took over worldy power still kept members of the Ulama on staff, since they were not only the authority on matters of the faith, but also in practice the only educated members of society that could handle their growing need for buerocracy. And since the ulama were pretty much the de facto clergy, even if people sometimes claim that there is no such thing in Islam, it's not that strange that they moved and maneuvered Islam in a path that favoured them.

    By the point you're talking, with the collapse of things to Mongols and Timurs we have dozens of states just in areas now considered Arab. Many of them at eachother's throats. With differing approaches to Islam to begin with. Where was there a center of Ulema conservatism that was clamping down on such things and simultaneously holding enough influences at all the different courts, while also agreeing with each-other across space? I just have a hard time believing that a time where disunity was a part of the problem...also had unity as part of the problem.
    The fracturing that had taken place within the Islamic world was part of the reason why the Ulama started to standardize in the first place. To safeguard the purity of the faith against the random whims of sultans and emirs. As for how it kept a similar trajectory all over that probably have to do with how the ulama as a class were pretty much all about safeguarding their own privilegies and by extension the status quo.

    If we were starting to see conservatism ramp up after the nomadic apocalypses then what seems the case then is a constant sense of crisis and stress that would have been evident on all levels of society rather than just random religious scholars.
    So pointing to them seems to be missing the larger issue.

    Not that peace = progress exactly (see: Tokugawa Japan). But severe crisis and shifting fragmentation seems the real culprit of not to much building conservatism as stagnation.
    Oh it's absolutely not the only reason for their decline, not by a long shot. The Europeans by-passing them in their trade with east Asia, the crusades, the mongols and the total destruction of lots of their scientific legacy probably factored in a whole damn lot. But i'd say that the restraints placed on free thought, for religious reasons, and the subsquent mental stagnation was a factor too.

  20. #80

    Default Re: History enthusiasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey King View Post
    It does for a good chunk of it's first half though. With that one emperor who nearly reconquered the whole old empire.
    Seriously it's really just that it's (largely) outside of Western European historical and religious development, so Western Europeans and their former colonies neglect it.
    Sure. At least until the arabs came.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey King View Post
    That sounds like Western Rome. And Eastern Rome in the previous Millenia.
    But Eastern Rome was super powerful on all those fronts for the roughly 500 years after West Rome died.
    During the great migration period it was West Rome that basically disintegrated into jack, so that's true. But in the middle ages, the population of Byzantine fluctuated greatly. Constantinople dropped from half a million to just over 50.000 inhabitants during the arabic wars and a lot of the nation would grow to be more ruralized and more reminiscent of the average east european nation than some antique, civilization built on marble.



    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey King View Post
    Why? There is direct continuity and absolutely nobody in those times doubted it. It would essentially be historical revisionism in favor of a specifically western viewpoint to deny it that title.
    Rome was a state entity, then several state entities. It isn't defined as being glorious and powerful, it's defined by being the same state.
    Should we not count 1700's USA as the USA because it's not a world superpower? It just doesn't make sense.
    The closest thing you have to a point is trying to paint the East as a rump state, but it became a rump state hundreds of years after the west was dead. I can understand trying to say that say... the reconstituted Byzantine Empire after the 4th crusade shouldn't entirely count. But that was waaaaay late in it's lifetime.
    I think a more sound analogy would be ''if the US split into two countries and one of these states would as time progressed change their style of government, change their customs, change their language, with the borders shrinking and growing left and right, could you still consider it to be the United States a thousand years later?'' '' I mean, there are way too many things that are different about the Byzantine Empire than it was from the start, and in particular what it was before it become an independent state. I think calling Byzantium a successor state makes for a fairer description, since that is what we tend to call other kingdoms that have broken off greater empires.

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