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To: Dat
I'm a bit more than an armchair historian.

And "with the exception of Rome" at it's height was essentially all of Europe except for Germany and the lands more east. It also included all of northern Africa and the Levant.

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.
19 posted on 05/30/2003 11:43:19 PM PDT by TheAngryClam (This space for rent.)
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To: TheAngryClam
"Christianity was a disaster for Europe."

I would really like to know your basis for saying that. Could you be a bit more specific?

24 posted on 05/30/2003 11:54:58 PM PDT by nightdriver
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To: TheAngryClam
Christianity was a disaster for Europe.

That is a highly simplistic statement. Modern custom and culture is dictated to a far greater extent from the Judeo-Christian tradition than the Roman model, which is not to belittle the influence of Rome (although Rome itself was primarily responsible for the spread of Christianity both directly and indirectly), but to highlight the importance of the other traditions.

27 posted on 05/31/2003 12:17:16 AM PDT by Dat
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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
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: TheAngryClam
It was only through turning to the traditions of pagan Rome

Civilization in western Europe was largely saved by Irish Catholic priests and nuns, who kept whatever light of learning, history and Christianity not extinguished during the dark ages burning mostly my the luck of the fact that Ireland was pretty much the end of the world. If it had been any easier to get to, these good folks would have suffered the fate of those on the continent.

These priests, nuns, and monks converted the Germanic tribes to Christianity, recreated the first centers of learning, and basically saved Europe from paganism. If it weren't for them, we would never have had a "Western Civilization" that looks anything like it did or does.

The roots of our Republican (at least in theory) form of government are largely rooted in a melange of Christianity, Celtic emphasis on local control and value of the individual citizen, remnants of Roman law, and Anglo Saxon culture that were uniquely found in England. Medieval society was just a little bit different their than in the rest of Europe. Moreover, because of the English Channel, the Rennassaince took longer to find it's way their, and all of the Medieval emphasis on local government (relatively speaking) and a multiplicity of centers of authority lasted in England longer than in the rest of Europe (many of whose princes absolutely adored the Roman Imperial emphasis on centralized government.)

303 posted on 06/01/2003 8:06:15 PM PDT by jscd3
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