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Europe Returning to Pagan Roots
NewsMax ^ | May 30, 2003 | Fr. Mike Reilly

Posted on 05/30/2003 9:55:54 PM PDT by Hugenot

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To: Stefan Stackhouse
I wouldn't call call Aristotle merely a scribe. After all, he is the first man that we know of who was a keen observer of nature, both living, and non living, and offer up some sort of coherent theories as to the make up of things and how they functioned. Also, offered up a counterpoint to Plato's forms. Probably his most glaring weakness was that he spread himself too thin. The guy was interested in everything under the sun (and the sun too).

As for Homer, The Illiad and The Oddessy were written so far back before the period we are discussing, until we don't have any real evidence as to exactly when they were written, or in fact, that anyone named Homer even wrote the things. Herodotus told a good story, but only in a generalized way can we say that his "Histories" is really a history book. Rather, I would say it is part travellog and part fairy tales. He did tell a good story, as I said, and he did give good insight into some of the more obscure cultures of the near east. His is a great work no doubt, but one has to realize what it is, and accept it as that.

I would say that Thucydides was a more accurate and insightful historian.

151 posted on 05/31/2003 9:18:27 AM PDT by GaConfed
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To: ArneFufkin
I agree and look at Islam from a memetic pov (point of view). I have known of few major Philosophers that thought highly of this Religion which as you rightly point out appears to be highly resistant to change and carries with it a highly militaristic component.

http://www.memecentral.com/

* What is a meme?

* Memes are the basic building blocks of our minds and culture, in the same way that genes are the basic building blocks of biological life.

* Isn't memetics just a fancy name for _________ (fill in the blank with "cultural evolution", "behavioral psychology", "sociobiology", or anything else)? Why is this anything new?

* The breakthrough in memetics is in extending Darwinian evolution to culture. There are several exciting conclusions from doing that, one of which is the ability to predict that ideas will spread not because they are "good ideas", but because they contain "good memes" such as danger, food and sex that push our evolutionary buttons and force us to pay attention to them.

* Who invented memes?

* Oxford zoologist Richard Dawkins is credited with first publication of the concept of meme in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene.

* If memes control our thoughts and therefore our actions, what about free will?

* We continually understand more and more about how our bodies and minds work. We now know that trillions of organic nanomachines in the cells of our bodies work together to give us life. Neither that understanding nor the new understanding of our minds that memetics will give us should affect the philosophical question of free will.

* In Virus of the Mind, you seem to neglect truth as a main reason that memes replicate, focusing instead on psychological button-pushing, evangelism, and other non-obvious means. Why?

* First, the theoretical reason. Our minds evolved to support survival and reproduction in the ancestral environment (Stone Age). The kind of truth that would have aided that would have pertained to knowledge of terrain, seasons, and so on. These things are concrete and simple. Our society today is so complex that concrete and simple things that "make sense" are likely to out-compete "true" memes that are less appealing. Second, empirical evidence shows that students are getting worse and worse at knowledge tests.

152 posted on 05/31/2003 9:21:37 AM PDT by Helms (Dems Find Smoking Gun: 45-55 Loss in Senate, Bush Wins 2nd Term)
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To: GaConfed
His is a great work no doubt, but one has to realize what it is, and accept it as that

Why is it a great work?

153 posted on 05/31/2003 9:22:38 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: ffusco
Oh I see. Caligula and the rest of those would-be 'gods' were not a disaster for the Roman Empire and Europe, Christiandom was a disaster for Europe.

I sense a propblem of the will here, not the intellect. No one smart enough to use a computer could possibly make the statement you made unless a willful blindness is throughly in place.

The Roman Empire was falling from its own corruption, as all power tends to do. Only because of the saving work of Jesus Christ on its citizens could a handful of nations rise from the ashes of the Roman Empire to rule the rest of the world for about two centuries. Without that spiritual capital, the nations of western Europe would not have been exalted over other nations of the world.

As the light of Christiandom faded from those shores, it burned more brightly in American and we had "the American Century". If you want to know what nations will be the greatest nations on Earth a generation from now, look on the nations where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is ascendant. This is the lesson of History since the reformation.
154 posted on 05/31/2003 9:24:19 AM PDT by Ahban
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To: Hugenot
The Eurocrats in Brussels are as allergic to Christianity as vampires are to crucifixes.
155 posted on 05/31/2003 9:24:40 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: Podkayne
The new world order will be the domination of populations belonging to third world Christianity

The third world part is the deal killer.

156 posted on 05/31/2003 9:25:12 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: ffusco; TheAngryClam
My #154 is actaully meant for "The Angry Mollusk".
157 posted on 05/31/2003 9:26:43 AM PDT by Ahban
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To: TheAngryClam
Once, it was like Islam is now, full of fire and passion and global conquest, but now is nothing more than memories.

Don't know many Christians, do you? The fire among many young Catholics in this Country is palpable. And we're having lots of kids, while our secular brethren are wasting away...

I don't really mind, either. The glory of European civilization came from the pagan parts- Rome and Greece, and their rebirth and rejection of Christianity in the Renaissance and Enlightenment.

Boy, you bought the academic "Western Civ" view of history hook, line, and sinker, didn't you? If not for Christianity, there would have been no Renaissance, no "Enlightenment." If not for Christians, the works of classical Greece and Rome would have been lost to us. If not for valiant Christians at Tours, at Constantinople, at Jerusalem, on Malta, at Lepanto, at Vienna, etc., Europe may have been overrun by Islam on any number of occasions. Any guesses as to what an Islamic Europe would have meant to the "Renaissance" and "Enlightenment?" And certainly, without Christianity, there could not have been a United States.

You want to talk about "tired", try studying the later Roman/Byzantine Empire period. False dead-end that it was, paganism was recognized as a fraud by most Romans as early as late Republican Roman times. It wasn't paganism that led to the greatness of Rome and Greece. Both cultures possessed an inherent longing for the truth--both in terms of science and religion. It was this inherent virtue that allowed Greco-Roman civilization to create an educational system without equal in the ancient world. It was this same inherent virtue that caused them to eventually reject paganism and accept Christianity (with a little help from the Holy Spirit, no doubt!)

Another example of "tired" would be our current anti-Christian postmodern culture. It is moribund; its advocates are aging and those replacing them aren't nearly as convincing charlatans as they were. While you may not realize it yet, the zeitgeist is moving again...
158 posted on 05/31/2003 9:31:00 AM PDT by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces )
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To: ffusco
And the notion that all virtues came exclusively from Christianity is preposterous. As if the pagans threw out the baby with the bath water.

Actually, the pagans did practice infanticide with some regularity....

Of course, the Romans had virtues of their own. It was these virtues that made the segue to Christianity so natural and easy for them.
159 posted on 05/31/2003 9:33:56 AM PDT by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces )
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To: ArneFufkin
Why is it a great work?

Good question. I'd say that any original thought that is written down for posterity, and is still read and taken seriously many years afterward is "great." And no, I don't think there are a lot of great works written in the last century or so. They haven't stood the test of time yet.

160 posted on 05/31/2003 9:34:43 AM PDT by GaConfed
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To: TheAngryClam
Christianity was a disaster for Europe. It was only through turning to the traditions of pagan Rome, such as the Roman Catholic Church and most of the early kingdoms (for example, the Goths that ended the Western Roman Empire were more "Roman" in their habits than the Eastern Empire soldiers that came to retake Italy), that civilization survived.

That explains why the cities of Sicily and Italy were so quick to throw open their gates to Belisarius and his meagre army of 10,000 Greeks in defiance of the Goths and their hundreds of thousands occupying the land.

Also, civilization really only survived in Byzantium during the Dark Ages. Your noble barbarians nearly extinguished it in Western Europe. If not for the efforts of the Pope at Rome, some monks in Ireland, and Charles Martel at Tours, there's no reason to believe that the civilization of the ancient world would have survived at all in the West.

That you refuse to give Christianity its historical due is an act of supreme cultural ingratitude on your part.
161 posted on 05/31/2003 9:41:09 AM PDT by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces )
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To: TheAngryClam
Not to mention the laws of Europe (the civil code is a direct descendant from Roman Law) and well, in a good part, those of America.

You, of course, neglect to mention that Roman law was a horrible mish-mash until Constantine, Theodosius, and Justinian (all Christian emperors) came along and regularized it. Indeed, it is the Justinianic Code that much of European law was based.
162 posted on 05/31/2003 9:43:15 AM PDT by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces )
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To: TheAngryClam
}Christianity is just a neutered, tired religion.

No, not the religion. Only the pathetic leaders.

163 posted on 05/31/2003 9:44:23 AM PDT by DensaMensa (He who controls the definitions controls History. He who controls History controls the future.)
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To: TheAngryClam
Yes, let them return to worshipping Baal and throwing virgins, babies and other innocents into a pit of fire! That's what makes a country great, right? /s
164 posted on 05/31/2003 9:48:51 AM PDT by arasina (Thank God the White House now has plenty of CLEAN laundry!)
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To: Hugenot; AntiGuv; ffusco
As if the pagans threw out the baby with the bath water.

Let's hear it for that old pagan doctor Hypocrites whose oath banned abortions....

An examination of history will show that only the Catholics (under the Pope as a king of the Papal States or Emperor over Catholic monarchs) initiated true "theocratic" states (ruled by a religious leader). The Eastern Christians actually had a seperation of church and state but they never called it that. I think the term the Orthodox use is a "symphonic relationship". The Byzantine and Russian emperors were not heads of the church but rather protectors. This is the model that later Protestant monarchs adopted.

That is my very generalized view of things.

Our constitution does just fine without the mention of God whatsoever.

165 posted on 05/31/2003 9:50:28 AM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: philetus
Not true. Perhaps some human sacrificing cults/religions did, but one of the things that made Rome absolutely detest Carthage was its religious practice of sacrificing many young people(ie. children) every year to its god, Baal.

Sure, the Romans were proficient killers but even they had limits.
166 posted on 05/31/2003 9:50:50 AM PDT by Skywalk
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To: TheAngryClam
Check out Orwell's "1984" to get it.

Read "The Source" by James Michener to get even more.

167 posted on 05/31/2003 9:50:56 AM PDT by arasina (Thank God the White House now has plenty of CLEAN laundry!)
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To: Ahban
If you want to know what nations will be the greatest nations on Earth a generation from now, look on the nations where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is ascendant

No religion with a doctrinal God that orders and rewards murder of innocents and suicide martyrdom is to be respected, understood or tolerated as valid.

That rabid sect needs to be neutralized without hesitation. Our civilization must be defended and preserved at any cost. We're better.

We'll see what happens. Militant Islam doesn't play any more. They have no case for violent ambush of Americans. Shoot the rabid dog stalking your family before he bites.

168 posted on 05/31/2003 9:55:02 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: TheAngryClam
The Gods of Good lose in Ragnarok anyway, so no thanks. :)
169 posted on 05/31/2003 10:03:19 AM PDT by Skywalk
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To: Stefan Stackhouse
Actually, as far as I know, the Phoenicians are a "somewhat" mysterious Semitic tribe that are related to, but not the direct ancestors of Arabs and Hebrews. In fact, I think it can be confidently said that they are NOT the ancestors of the Palestinians.
170 posted on 05/31/2003 10:14:47 AM PDT by Skywalk
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To: arasina
Who are you talking about?

The Greeks and Romans didn't throw innocents into a pit of fire! Nor did the majority of barbarian tribes. That isn't to say they couldn't be cruel, but it's not like barbarity, cruelty and torture STOPPED with the advent of Christian dominance in Europe. It took Reformation, Renaissance and the Enlightement for inhumanity to be given a name and labelled an enemy to the spirit.

Phoenicians, while a part of the ancient world, are NOT the ancestors of Europeans.

The worst civilization in history, by human sacrificing standards, remains the Aztecs. They not only killed millions during their reign, but ATE THEM. They would also drown babies as a sacrifice to the rain god. The Spanish did humanity a favor.
171 posted on 05/31/2003 10:17:57 AM PDT by Skywalk
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To: Skywalk
} the Phoenicians are a "somewhat" mysterious Semitic tribe... I think it can be confidently said that they are NOT the ancestors of the Palestinians.

That is certainly true. The Phoenicians were a tall, often red haired Semitic tribe with a Semitic language who appeared to be not unlike todays Irish or Scandinavians. There is speculation they may have come from the tribe of Dan, since part of Dan can be traced to the region as a major sailing and shipping nation.

Danites were also traced up the major East European rivers (named after them) like the Don, Danube, Dneiper and many others. Denmark takes it's name from Danmark, the tribe (or mark) of Dan.

172 posted on 05/31/2003 10:29:03 AM PDT by DensaMensa (He who controls the definitions controls History. He who controls History controls the future.)
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To: GaConfed
I don't know, the greats to me were Dumas, Twain and Heller.
173 posted on 05/31/2003 10:38:52 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: DensaMensa
Interesting. I've heard a few theories about the Phoenicians(among other ancient peoples) but one of the more astounding is that they successfully sailed around Africa. I've heard about them discovering America too, but I think that's a bit far-fetched.

174 posted on 05/31/2003 10:54:15 AM PDT by Skywalk
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To: Skywalk
I've heard about them discovering America too, but I think that's a bit far-fetched.

Phoneicians? Didn't they discover Charles Keating oiling up John McCain and Dennis DeConcini for their skin peels at Senate Spa Day?

175 posted on 05/31/2003 11:11:38 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: Skywalk
}Interesting. I've heard a few theories about the Phoenicians...I've heard about them discovering America too, but I think that's a bit far-fetched.

I agree with you. We all know Leif Erikkson discovered America. {ggg}.

176 posted on 05/31/2003 11:15:36 AM PDT by DensaMensa (He who controls the definitions controls History. He who controls History controls the future.)
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To: ArneFufkin
Christianity is the greatest inspirational movement in human history.

I am in total agreement. Hope you didn't read my previous post wrong...

177 posted on 05/31/2003 11:22:28 AM PDT by EverOnward
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To: Mark17
"I thought, for the most part, they were still pretty much a bunch of pagans..."

Actually, in Germany, the GANG-GREEN Party are "Born Again Pagans!"

178 posted on 05/31/2003 11:30:09 AM PDT by SierraWasp (You have to ask yourself, do you really understand all you know about your adamant position???)
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To: Dat
The Roman Empire was built on plunder and enslavement. Even its law, which is its greatest legacy, found its best expression in the code of Justinian.
179 posted on 05/31/2003 11:36:57 AM PDT by RobbyS
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To: TheAngryClam
The Civil Code comes from Byzantium, the Christian empire.
180 posted on 05/31/2003 11:41:49 AM PDT by RobbyS
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To: petuniasevan
The Islamic invasion of Europe will be complete in around 20 to 30 years. They will have conquered the continent.
181 posted on 05/31/2003 11:45:28 AM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Skywalk
The Phonecian Sailing exploits are Arab Esteem day fictions IMO. They went as far as they needed to get their slaves. That great hero (Hanna?) saw Elephants and Gorillas in .... Morocco and Senegal. Yep, that's where they are. Right by that Volcano he saw erupt.

The Phonecians also invented Prepaid Long Distance Calling Cards.

182 posted on 05/31/2003 11:51:54 AM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: GaConfed
...and then only allowing the clergy to learn Latin. Latin was the common language of the learned in both Catholic and Protestant countries until the 18th Century. Most of the teachers and students at university were laymen. For instance, Thomas More, the "man for all seasons."
183 posted on 05/31/2003 11:53:26 AM PDT by RobbyS
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To: Destro
The Eastern Christians actually had a seperation of church and state but they never called it that. I think the term the Orthodox use is a "symphonic relationship". The Byzantine and Russian emperors were not heads of the church but rather protectors. This is the model that later Protestant monarchs adopted.

You're out of your mind. The East is where the term Caesaropapism came from. The Emperor replaced patriarchs pretty much at will, and even Popes when his agents could reach them. Meanwhile, the Western model had the monarchs as protectors of the Church--especially the French kings. You've got it exactly backwards.
184 posted on 05/31/2003 12:01:26 PM PDT by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces )
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To: rmvh
I think would have a hard time proving that. For instance, the religion of Abraham is now more than 4,000 years old and counting.
185 posted on 05/31/2003 12:08:26 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: Skywalk
The Greeks and Romans didn't throw innocents into a pit of fire! Nor did the majority of barbarian tribes. That isn't to say they couldn't be cruel, but it's not like barbarity, cruelty and torture STOPPED with the advent of Christian dominance in Europe.

Uh, to a large extent, it did. Much to the chagrin of the remaining pagans, the Christian emperors of the late Roman empire had an annoying habit of closing down arenas where thousands of innocent Christian martyrs had been butchered, savaged by wild animals, roasted on gridirons, and otherwise put to death for nothing other than practicing their religion. Yes, Christian dominance put a serious crimp barbarity, cruelty, and torture.

You would fault Christian Europe for not halting such practices all together for all time. But before you do, name for me one nation or civilization that existed for over 100 years where such things were totally absent.
186 posted on 05/31/2003 12:08:45 PM PDT by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces )
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To: nightdriver
From Latin, but correct in the other respects.
187 posted on 05/31/2003 12:10:52 PM PDT by TheAngryClam (Nil igitur mors est ad nos neque pertinet hilum/quandoquidem natura animi mortalis habetur)
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To: Stefan Stackhouse
Except for the fact that slavery in Rome was more like indentured servitude. Many "slaves" had slaves of their own, owned property, worked as civil servants, were often released upon death of the master, were taught trades such as medicine and drafting, married freely among their own, were often eulogized upon their death, were sometimes adopted outright and even buried in family tombs. Many masters considered their slaves as friends and wept upon their death.

Plus the very fact that they were war prosioners- who were usually just killed anyway, and it was 2000 years ago, make recent slavery much, much, much worse.
188 posted on 05/31/2003 12:11:00 PM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus, Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: Mr. Mojo
The Islamic invasion of Europe will be complete in around 20 to 30 years. They will have conquered the continent.

The Germans, Russians and Spaniards will emerge from their coma and start 86ing riff raff. Ruthlessly. The Danes, Poles, Baltics and Eastern European nations will make Muslims "void where prohibited." The Scandihoovians like their homogenous lifestyle, they're not game.

London has always been a hub of Arab/Muslim commerce and community, and that's a good thing overall. A really vibrant community.

I'm hopeful that the patriots in European states will finally step up and save their countries. I saw big German Arayan poster boys averting the menacing and sneering gaze of young Arab men loitering in cafes, markets and beer gardens throughout Bonn and Munich. They abide those punks bad eyeing them. One day, they'll turn them inside out. They're the boys from Deustschland for God's sake ... they need to clean house. I don't care about the French, Swiss and Belgians, let them enjoy the cultural contributions of Islamist cigarette use.

189 posted on 05/31/2003 12:14:47 PM PDT by ArneFufkin
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To: Stefan Stackhouse
"We even had a general who conquered Gaul and then went on to become our head of government."

That's just beautiful.
190 posted on 05/31/2003 12:15:01 PM PDT by TheAngryClam (Nil igitur mors est ad nos neque pertinet hilum/quandoquidem natura animi mortalis habetur)
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To: Ciexyz
Exactly! What a wordy, incomprehensible mess. Like something written by a hack at a textbook company as part of the introduction to a world history book.
191 posted on 05/31/2003 12:15:25 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: GaConfed
Aristotle actually was mostly a member of the court of Alexander.
192 posted on 05/31/2003 12:15:52 PM PDT by TheAngryClam (Nil igitur mors est ad nos neque pertinet hilum/quandoquidem natura animi mortalis habetur)
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To: The Grammarian
Fine, then the true definition is the defintion of religio, religionis that I posted earlier.
193 posted on 05/31/2003 12:18:04 PM PDT by TheAngryClam (Nil igitur mors est ad nos neque pertinet hilum/quandoquidem natura animi mortalis habetur)
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To: RobbyS
The civil code that "survives" comes from Justinian who recorded a lot for posterity but didn't create it.
194 posted on 05/31/2003 12:25:50 PM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus, Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: Antoninus
Culturally, the Goths that settled in Italy were more Roman than Belisarius. While the Eastern Empire had long forgotten many of the customs of Rome (always being more Greek), the Goths practiced them meticulously as best they were able.

You also conspicuously leave out the Arab copyists from your list of the saviors of civilization. However, that wouldn't fit your Christian agenda too well, would it?

Charles Martel at Tours was not fighting primarily a religious war, although later generations have portrayed it as such. It was simply a defense against an invading army. He would have fought just as much against Christian as Muslim.
195 posted on 05/31/2003 12:27:21 PM PDT by TheAngryClam (Nil igitur mors est ad nos neque pertinet hilum/quandoquidem natura animi mortalis habetur)
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To: Antoninus
Just like your last post, your claims to Christian greatness lie only in preserving the ancient world, not surpassing it.

The Code of Justinian took and ordered already existing Roman law from the masses of statutes and laws already in effect.

If you're familiar with the American legal world, the Code of Justinian was similar to a Restatement of the Law.
196 posted on 05/31/2003 12:29:09 PM PDT by TheAngryClam (Nil igitur mors est ad nos neque pertinet hilum/quandoquidem natura animi mortalis habetur)
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To: Skywalk
All the gods lose. In fact, only people win (two who go to sleep in an ash tree and get to remake the world after the battle).
197 posted on 05/31/2003 12:30:59 PM PDT by TheAngryClam (Nil igitur mors est ad nos neque pertinet hilum/quandoquidem natura animi mortalis habetur)
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To: DensaMensa
In any event, they were both pagans (just to continue the fight of pagan vs. Christian).

Someone drag out the Irish story real quick- there's a Christian version involving some saint, but it's just an adaptation of an older pagan story.
198 posted on 05/31/2003 12:33:21 PM PDT by TheAngryClam (Nil igitur mors est ad nos neque pertinet hilum/quandoquidem natura animi mortalis habetur)
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To: RobbyS
See #196
199 posted on 05/31/2003 12:34:09 PM PDT by TheAngryClam (Nil igitur mors est ad nos neque pertinet hilum/quandoquidem natura animi mortalis habetur)
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To: RobbyS
And you, and any Jew regardless of how orthodox, would recognize almost nothing in Abraham's religious beliefs.

For example, adopting one specific nature god to be his particular patron while not denying the existence of other gods.

The monotheism came later.
200 posted on 05/31/2003 12:36:14 PM PDT by TheAngryClam (Nil igitur mors est ad nos neque pertinet hilum/quandoquidem natura animi mortalis habetur)
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