Posts Tagged ‘Greco-Roman’

Where, What Is Europe?

May 27, 2012

YES, AZERBAIJAN BELONGS.

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The Eurovision song contest was held in Azerbaijan. Some have wondered if that country should be viewed as in Europe. Tectonic arguments have been raised: the Caucasus is a plate boundary, Azerbaijan to the other side, relative to Russia.

However the main boundary with the Arabian plate is more than 1,000 kilometers to the south, in the Arabico-Persian gulf… in between, there are a lot of fragmentary miniplates (and another two or three major mountain ranges). So, if one excludes Azerbaijan tectonically, so should one exclude Italy, or Spain, by the same logical token.

So forget tectonics.

Is Azerbaijan in Europe?

What is Europe? Is it the Indo-European civilizational petri dish? Yes, it is.

Is Armenia in Europe?

Well, Armenia was the first state which adopted Christianity as its state religion. For most of antiquity, Armenia was a gigantic state occupying vast swathes of present day Turkey and Azerbaijan (which did not exist yet). Armenia was long allied, or part, of the Roman empire. Ultimately, it was victimized by the invading Turks. Armenia has a territorial conflict with Azerbaijan.

Is Georgia in Europe?

It is a Christian state. It was for thousands of years in the Greco-Roman world. It was a rampart against Islam. A Georgian army helped the Mongols seize and destroy Baghdad, capital of the Islamist Caliphate (OK, there was also a Frankish army in attendance, and because it was a major butchery, and cultural devastation, one tends to overlook these not so neglectable details of history…)

Is Phoenicia in Europe?

That’s where our alphabet comes from.

Is Sumer in Europe?

That’s where the effort of making an alphabet, in association with Egypt, came from. And also the bi-cameral, representative democracy system we use. And Alexander conquered the area, and descendant regimes forever did, except when overruled by Rome.

Is Turkey in Europe?

Well, where the Turks originated, far to the North-East, that’s where the Indo-European languages originated.

Is Egypt in Europe?

Well, much Greek mathematics is actually Egyptian mathematics. For more than a millennia, a full millennia before Greek civilization rose, Crete and Egypt maintained a symbiosis. Crete originated the thalassocracy principle, with democracy and gender equality.  

Are Hungary, Finland, and the Basque in Europe?

They don’t speak an Indo-European language.

Is Iran in Europe?

Well, water in French is “eau” (pronounced “o”). In Iranian, it is “ob”.

The Azerbaijani language is a Turkic language, part of the Altaic family. These languages originated in the exact center of Eurasia, and are spoken there, and in a huge part of extreme north and east Siberia. Some could say, ha ha ha, here is the proof that Turkey does not belong to Europe. However, most of the present Turkish population descended from old, obviously European, Greek and Armenian, not to say Kurdish, ancestry: the Turkish army was at most 300,000 when it invaded the region, a millennium ago.

Moreover, that Turkish army thrived from scavenging elements of the old Greco-Romano-European civilization. It is European engineers and troops which conquered Turkey for the Turks. Constantinople’s walls crumbled under the world’s biggest guns, made by Hungarian engineers, for the Sultan.  

Is Islam something European?

Well, Islam is an obvious modification of Judeo-Christianism, which all too many view as central to European culture. The Franks themselves viewed Islam as a form of Christianism (the Franks called the Muslims Sarasins; Sarah-sins = sons of Sarah… As described in the bible).

The Franks preferred to call themselves “Europeans”, in the non Christian sense… Islam blossomed throughout two thirds of the Greco-Roman empire, and most of the population took centuries to convert. During that time, the Golden Age of Islam, Islam got Europeanized (Caliphs were in the systematic habit of marrying Greco-Roman princesses).

Is Iraq in Europe?

Well, it’s not just that Roman emperors spent quite a bit of time there, more than four centuries after Alexander’s (mostly) Macedonian army conquered the whole area. Genetic studies have shown than both the vegetable and grains found in Italy, and also the people came from the Fertile Crscent, and more specifically the area of modern Iraq.

Where does Europe stop?

Well, Marseilles was a Greek colony, from Phocaea, back in what the Romans called “Asia” (now Anatolia). Marseilles founded an empire, which lasted more than six centuries. Caesar put an end to it (because it had supported his rival). Still the Greek influence perdured, all the way through the 1789 revolution, to this day. The USA, Russia, and Australia are European colonies. So is all of South America.

Europe is an idea. The idea that cultural diversity is wealth. Even imperial Rome had understood that one, and used it to become a universal state (universal is “catholic” in Greek). That idea originated probably in the Cretan and Egyptian symbiosis, and blossomed under the great age of Greece, a millennium later.

Athens’ historical mistake, in the times of the Delian League, was to not respect more carefully the fundamental idea of Europe. An idea to munch nowadays, when the Greeks are treated like dogs, while bankers are treated like lords.

***

Patrice Ayme

FRANKLY FREE.

July 25, 2008

WHEN FREEDOM FRIED FASCISM.

“Freedom” fries or “French” fries are synonymous. Indeed “Frank”, a word that gave “Imperium Francorum” abbreviated as “Francia” (modern “France”), meant FREE. Ferocious and free. The initial Salic law of the Franks gave more rights to them than to plain Roman citizens, reinforcing the meaning of “Frank” as free.

It was hilarious to see ignorant members of the US Congress submitting to their leader, the self described “Decider”, by trying to escape the concept of France while using the very conceptual root, freedom, which gave rise to the word French.

Talking without knowing is like breathing without air: an ominous fate.

The Franks were so free that they insisted their ancestors had escaped from the burning Troy. That made them as prestigious as Rome (supposedly founded by a Trojan). More importantly, it made the Franks born critiques and adversaries of the Greco-Roman civilization.

The Greco-Roman civilization was not conquered. It collapsed under its own errors, in the same way, at least three times. Three times it saw fascism rise, and was unable to stop it. Why? Because it was too fascist to start with. And it was too fascist because it had subhuman populations: the slaves and the women (today the US has the poor, those without health insurance, etc…).

The Franks would shatter the Greco-Roman founding principles of slavery and sexism. Troy was attacked by Greece because a woman had used her freedom of choice. To choose Troy rather than Greece as model and inspiration was to chose women as equal.

Indeed seven Merovingian queens soon ruled. One of them was one of the handful of the most important head of states civilization ever knew. Perhaps the most important, period. Her statue is in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. Bathilde outlawed slavery (~ 660 CE). A US president, Lincoln, discovered that was a good idea around 1863 CE. Excuse us, we are the slows: not enough freedom on our fries…

Thus the Franks proclaimed themselves to be free of the Greco-Roman erroneous preconceptions that were too friendly to fascism, right from the start. Those preconceptions had perverted the Greco-Roman valuation system. That made the purely Greek version of that moral system weak and unable to overwhelm the rough fascist values of the Macedonians. And then unable to persuade the Roman elite either.

Rejecting sexism and slavery allowed the Franks to launch civilization with the very best foundations. They had not been seen since Crete (Crete was very anti sexist, with its female toreadors, and Crete was very equalitarian, as shown by its lack of walls and fortifications; instead archeology finds plenty of the crushed blend of materials characteristic of tsunami debris, followed by civil strife).

The concept of freedom for all had eluded both Greeks and Romans, and its absence ultimately caused their social, economic, and technological demise through mental stagnation. The remedy the autocrat Constantine, his son Constantius II and their successors found, the ultimate fascism they called Catholic Orthodoxy, brought the apocalypse of total mental fascism. The Dark Ages.

Aristotle claimed slavery was needed, because they, the ancient Greeks, did not have robots. But they sure had luxury.

Look at the Acropolis. Pretty, but it may have destroyed Athens (she diverted the Dorian League defense funds to build it, causing serious resentment that old fascists in Sparta used to their advantage).

Charlemagne lived very modestly for someone at the head of a giant empire of more than 300 counties (many dozens of times larger than the Athenian empire at its ephemeral apex). So it had long been, and would long be for all the Franks: they lived well, but without excess. That was the “cost” of freedom for all (Buddha would have said that was not a cost). We are far from the armies of slaves of the early Christian bishops, and the extravagance of the Roman urban centers of old.

But then there were millions of free Franks who were motivated to try to improve their conditions through technology. The Carolingian epoch was characterized by great advances in biotechnology (new breeds of horses, invention of nutritious beans), and engineering (deep furrows, and plenty of horse related tech, water and wind mills; by 1,000 CE, the Frankish economy was the most energy intensive in the world, etc…).

The Franks’ meta principle of more freedom for all thus (re)founded Western civilization as a hotbed of technical and philosophical innovation. That allowed civilization to advance again, by freeing it from social and ecological constraints that had bogged down the Greco-Romans.

So now we know the founding principle of Western civilization, FREEDOM, and that it gave its very name to the people who imposed it on Europe.

What was the founding principle of English speaking America? Some will say it did not need any, because, after all, it’s a descendant regime of the Franks (as is all of Europe, even Russia, when the main cultural flows are carefully traced back). So freedom would also be America’s founding principle, and indeed, US citizens often speak of their country as the “land of free” (in other words, the land of the Franks).

But is that truly true? We will see. Doubts are fed when one is reminded of the two groups that truly founded English America, and thus the fundamental principles of its mentality. Real freedom implies to be mentally fierce. It means not aspiring to be submitted to God or man. The Franks were neither. The Franks knew the Bible very well (Carlus Magnus’ nickname -and excuse for his Pagan and creative behavior- was “King David”). But, as would be descendants of the Trojans, they claimed to be of older mental stock, and they did not submit to that amusing, but much newer story book. Instead, they submitted the Bible to them. They embraced all of life to dominate it, and wore extremely colorful clothing.

 

***

Patrice Ayme.

***

P/S: 1) The immense mass of the Roman urban population was fed (by giant agricultural businesses owned by the hyper rich senatorial class and manned by slaves), but it did not direct its own fate. So it was not motivated to improve it in any way. Apathy dominated all mental realms. By the sixth century, in Constantinople, the masses, the demos, were only excited by watching spectator sports. Truer democracy existed only in the West among the Franks (and that is why emperor Justinian left them alone as he reconquered the Western empire). 

2) The Greco-Roman civilization had subhuman populations: the slaves and the women (race, although exceptionally a factor (Sparta, that died off) was not dominant as a criterion of sub humanity: it was about how they talked, not the color of the skin). Today the US has the extremely poor under class, those without health insurance, etc; this has followed a tradition of exploiting various sub populations… Rome used torture only against slaves. Recently the US leadership proposed to use it even against citizens. What counts is using the principle of “sub humanity”. Not only does it make society unfair and fascist, it makes it mentally lazy, because those on top stay there, not because they are there because they strove to be better, but because they were born there.


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