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The Middle Ages: An Explosion of Freedom, Creativity and Progress

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Dark Ages because education was poor for the serfs who lived often on the brink of starvation and who died worn out at a young age, the overlords rued with iron hands, battles were common, diseases were common, towns were crowded and filthy, with feces and urine dumped into the streets, justice was harsh and pitiless, torture was common, freedom of expression was non-existent and there was considerable resistance to new ideas and "freedoms". The Church set itself up as the sole repository of knowledge and books were rare, as were those who could read them - only the rich and powerful. The Church was also all powerful during this time, suppressing any attempts at new religions and exercising total control over serfs, towns people and lords alike.There was at best a very minimal middle class.

    The Plague changed all that by wiping out excess population which opened up jobs, helped create new ones, convinced people to relocate and become more mobile, and is generally regarded as the catalyst that ultimately led to the Renaissance.

    Re-naming it won't lessen in any way the bleak harshness of those times, but I'm sure that the revisionists will do it anyway so their feelings aren't hurt. AFAIC, that's like calling the Holocaust The Great Social Failure.
    At the same time while the middle ages had its drawbacks, it also had its advantages. Here in 2018 we live in a world dominated by technology. , but those before us helped to build the very world we live in today. We would not have much of our medical knowledge without the contributions from Muslims and Europeans of the middle ages.



    It is also a myth that the greater populations of Europe were illiterate or uneducated during the middle ages. Christian leaders throughout the middle ages urged education for its people, one such leader was King Alfred The Great among others.


    Anatomy and dissection


    Many historians have believed that knowledge about anatomy stagnated in the Middle Ages. However, there is a great deal of evidence that medieval physicians were conducting experiments and examining the anatomy of the human body. In the year 1315 the Italian physician Mondino de Luzzi even conducted a public dissection for his students and spectators. The following year he would write Anathomia corporis humani, which is considered the first example of a modern dissection manual and the first true anatomical text.

    Cleaning wounds


    Ancient medical writers believed that during surgery some pus should remain in the wounds, thinking that this would aid in its healing. This idea remained widespread until the 13th-century surgeon Theodoric Borgognoni came up with an antiseptic method, where wounds were to be cleaned and then sutured to promote healing. He even had bandages pre-soaked in wine as a form of disinfectant. The Italian surgeon is also know for pioneering the use aneasthetics in surgery. Borgognoni would make patients fall unconscious by placing a sponge soaked in opium, mandrake, hemlock and other substances under their nose.

    http://www.medievalists.net/2015/11/...e-middle-ages/


    A study of ecclesiastical legislation from the sixth century onwards reveals a clearly defined policy which was decidedly favorable to the expansion of popular education. The stamp of the official approval was placed on what in many instances was becoming a widespread practice. Both particular and general councils of the Church, imperial capitularies, and episcopal and Papal decrees show that while bishops and Popes were primarily concerned with making provision for instructing the future members of the clerical body in the sacred sciences they were also at pains to encourage and promote the education of the laity.[37]

    The following are specific instances of educational legislation which had a far-reaching influence on the development and extension of popular education during the Middle Ages: the councils of Tours (567), Toledo (624); Constantinople (681); Bavarian pastoral instructions (774); council of Cloveshoe, England (749); the capitularies of Charlemagne (787,789); the synods of Aachen (789, 817); councils of Chalons (813), Paris (829), Rome (853); the edict of Emperor Lothair (825); the canons of King Edgar (960); Lanfranc's constitutions (1075); synod of Westminster (1133); Lateran councils (1179, 1215). The list[38] is not exhaustive but is significant of the extent and persistency of the official policy of the Church in diffusing the benefits of education throughout the length and breadth of Christendom. M. Allain, who has surveyed the greater part of the studies of medieval schools, declares that anyone who would form an adequate idea of the intellectual status of our ancestors in past ages must have recourse to these ecclesiastical documents, the collections of the Church councils.[39]


    ...

    No one will deny that in modern times considerable progress has been made in the popularization of education, but we must not overlook the fact that the medieval Church almost without any assistance from the State did much to provide for the educational needs of the masses


    https://www.catholicculture.org/cult...cfm?recnum=903
    Long live the Lionheart! Please watch this video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=jRDwlR4zbEM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3DBaY0RsxU
    Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.

    George S Patton

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    • #17
      I have mixed emotions about how tragic the collapse of the Roman Empire was. Rome was built to some degree on slave labor and largely on military employment two things that may actually retard social development. A very small percentage of the population of rome enjoyed the advantages that the rich had. You could argue that that trend continued until near the end of the 19th century. That is why modern historians have tried to develop a more objective means of measuring social development. A lot of the decline in social development after the collapse of the Roman empire is due to the abandonment of large communities. A similar pattern can be seen after the Bronze age collapse. Population concentration seems to be correlated with social development for reason that may be diverse and not perfectly clear. A lot of social development seems to be driven by things as unfortunate as warfare further mudding the historical waters. Then there is the question of if the Roman Catholic Church wasn't a surrogate for Roman rule it's self. A kind of weak theocracy in a fractured empire.

      It could very well be that Rome had to go to make way for the modern age including the vestiges of the Roman Empire the church inherited. I just wonder if 500 years from now they will be saying the same thing about what has come to be known as western civilization.
      We hunt the hunters

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      • #18
        Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
        I have mixed emotions about how tragic the collapse of the Roman Empire was. Rome was built to some degree on slave labor and largely on military employment two things that may actually retard social development. A very small percentage of the population of rome enjoyed the advantages that the rich had. You could argue that that trend continued until near the end of the 19th century. That is why modern historians have tried to develop a more objective means of measuring social development. A lot of the decline in social development after the collapse of the Roman empire is due to the abandonment of large communities. A similar pattern can be seen after the Bronze age collapse. Population concentration seems to be correlated with social development for reason that may be diverse and not perfectly clear. A lot of social development seems to be driven by things as unfortunate as warfare further mudding the historical waters. Then there is the question of if the Roman Catholic Church wasn't a surrogate for Roman rule it's self. A kind of weak theocracy in a fractured empire.

        It could very well be that Rome had to go to make way for the modern age including the vestiges of the Roman Empire the church inherited. I just wonder if 500 years from now they will be saying the same thing about what has come to be known as western civilization.
        For the average ( poor) Roman subject life seems to have been a daily attempt to dodge enslavement death from the rich, the bureaucracy,- or the Roman army..

        The church provided a store of knowledge before the printing press & standardized national languages - and a system of religious houses where relief from famine and chaos was available.

        The empire of the Franks took over the Roman rule function rather fast. ( for medieval times.). I was asked years ago , at a cross faith gathering, why the bible, and most copied works, were restricted to Latin. I do recall asking if Yorkshiran, Occitan or Castilian would have been better,before the invention of Mr Gutenberg...

        A far from perfect system- but the best we had...Blame Alaric or Guilderic......
        The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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        • #19
          Originally posted by marktwain View Post

          For the average ( poor) Roman subject life seems to have been a daily attempt to dodge enslavement death from the rich, the bureaucracy,- or the Roman army..

          The church provided a store of knowledge before the printing press & standardized national languages - and a system of religious houses where relief from famine and chaos was available.

          The empire of the Franks took over the Roman rule function rather fast. ( for medieval times.). I was asked years ago , at a cross faith gathering, why the bible, and most copied works, were restricted to Latin. I do recall asking if Yorkshiran, Occitan or Castilian would have been better,before the invention of Mr Gutenberg...

          A far from perfect system- but the best we had...Blame Alaric or Guilderic......
          The question is always compared to what? If the church was evil then what replaced it Nazism, Communism? I see religion as a part of culture not the driving force. I think that is partly why Jordan Peterson says Dawkins et. al. aren't Darwinian enough.
          We hunt the hunters

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
            The "dark ages" witnessed a lot of innovations including agricultural developments that lead to a population boom. I agree that the notion of the time period as bleak or ignorant is a bit overblown. Studying medieval society I saw a people group far more vibrant than given credit for.
            I agree: the cultural revivals under Charlemagne, Alfred the Great, and Otto the Great were definitely not “dark.”
            "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

            "It is well that war is so terrible-we would grow too fond of it"

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
              Dark Ages because ...
              "Dark" also because of lack of written historical sources, compared to the Classical period, I believe *that* was the original meaning of the term, the "Age of which we know little…" if you will

              Note that here in Western Europe at least, they "end" with the reign of Charlemagne in the 8th century before the traditional beginning of the "Medevial" period mentioned in OP.

              "The Dark age" is in fact the period of "absence" of Roman sources, before the "Carolingian renaissance".

              https://www.britannica.com/topic/edu...-its-aftermath
              Last edited by Snowygerry; 25 Mar 19, 05:48.
              High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post

                "Dark" also because of lack of written historical sources, compared to the Classical period, I believe *that* was the original meaning of the term, the "Age of which we know little…" if you will

                Note that here in Western Europe at least, they "end" with the reign of Charlemagne in the 8th century long before the traditional beginning of the "Medevial" period mentioned in OP.

                "The Dark age" is in fact the period of "absence" of Roman sources, before the "Carolingian renaissance".

                https://www.britannica.com/topic/edu...-its-aftermath
                Indeed, sometimes we read and misinterpret what was written in the past because we forget that language evolves and words change their meanings (often subtly) over time or gain (and sometime loose) different usages. Dark is one of these and back in the 18th and 19th centuries could be used in the way in which some intelligence communities still use it when something was dark it provided very little information about itself. Hence Africa was dubbed the dark continent, not because it was deemed a barbaric place (although some suspected it might be) but because nobody knew very much about it.

                This very absence of information does in a way tell is something. We know about the classical era because there were people in it writing all kinds of secular works, histories, poetic sagas, books on the natural world, philosophy etc etc and enough has survived for us to have some idea of what happened in that world. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire literacy (which probably had not gone down very far in the social scale) almost vanishes in the West, only being kept flickering in some religious institutions. That should tell us something about the nature of the times. The Dark Ages indeed.
                Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                • #23
                  Through the Middle ages liberty and equality was noticed. The Catholic Church has always stood by freedom of choice which is its true message. While there have been intolerant Catholics through history, the core teachings of the Church stood for liberal values,

                  We regard St. Thomas, as certainly the most reliable exponent of Catholic teachings, and he lived in the very times (d. 1274) when it is maintained nowadays, albeit wrongly, that the Catholic Church exercised limitless power. He answered the questions: whether the unbeliever may be forced to accept the true religion as follows:


                  The non-believers who, like the pagans and the Jews, have never accepted the true Faith may in no way -- nullo modo -- be forced to accept it, since Faith is a matter of free consent by the will. (ST. ii-ii., 10)

                  http://www.catholictradition.org/Tra...us-freedom.htm





                  The noted and learned Jesuit Suarez addressed himself to the same question 400 years later when he was discussing the power of the Catholic Church and Christian rulers. He said: "It is the universal opinion of theologians that non-believers, whether they are one's subjects or not, may not be forced to accept the Faith even if they have attained sufficient knowledge of it." (Suarez, Tract. de Fide Disp. 18 Sect. III, n. 4.) He then enumerated a long list of the most reputable theologians who supported this position and came to the conclusion that: "This opinion is therefore completely true and certain." To make it the more conclusive, he added: "We regard it, first of all as intrinsically evil -- intrinsice malum -- to wish to force non-believers who are not one's subjects to accept the Faith, because such force, to be applied, presupposes the existence of legitimate authority, as must be obvious. The Church, however, does not possess legitimate authority over such persons." (ibid. n. 4)

                  He continues: "Secondly, the Church cannot compel even non-believers who are subject to her temporal authority to accept the Faith. That is because the direct use of force presupposes full authority and jurisdiction, and it is clear from what has been said that the Church has not gotten such full power over her temporal subjects by any specific commission from Christ." (Ibid. n. 7)


                  http://www.catholictradition.org/Tra...us-freedom.htm
                  Last edited by Stonewall_Jack; 28 Mar 19, 19:11.
                  Long live the Lionheart! Please watch this video
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=jRDwlR4zbEM
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3DBaY0RsxU
                  Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.

                  George S Patton

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Here is an addition to the thread. Liberalism and diversity took place in the middle ages this has been shown, and it can be shown again and again. The Catholic Godfrey of Bouillon was a courageous and kind man. Its the people of history such as Godfrey that inspire me.

                    The Muslims deeply admired Godfrey

                    Interestingly, Muslim-Christian relations during Godfrey’s reign weren’t completely ruined by warfare. They were actually cordial. Given how fractured the Muslim world was at that time, there is no doubt that some Muslim groups sought an alliance with the Franks. But the Arabs were also deeply impressed by the Franks’ courage and prowess in battle. They were particularly impressed with Godfrey’s pious and contrite personality. During the siege of Arsuf, sheiks brought a variety of goods to Godfrey to pay tribute to their new overlord. They were surprised to see how simply Godfrey dressed. “This redoubtable prince, who had come from so far to create a disturbance among them…satisfied with such a modest apparel, without rugs or silk drapes and without a royal attire,” wrote one Arab chronicler (quoted in Rita Stark, 26).

                    When questioned about his lack of royal finery, Godfrey responded; “Man must remember that his is nothing but dust and will return to dust” (Rita Stark, 26). The Arabs were filled with so much admiration for Godfrey; they sought greater interaction with the Franks. They had also learnt of Godfrey’s legendary strength and wanted to witness it for themselves.

                    One Bedouin lord wished to see Godfrey, so accompanied by a small force, he rode out to meet the Frankish lord. Upon greeting Godfrey, the Arab bowed deeply before him and then presented Godfrey with a large camel. He asked Godfrey if he was truly capable of cutting off the head of a camel with one stroke of his sword. In response, Godfrey drew his sword and struck the camel in the thickest part of his neck, slicing off the head, making the task look as easy as slicing a loaf of bread in half. Amazed, the Arab gave Godfrey his finest collection of glass ware (Rita Stark, 26).

                    This little known act proves that there were times when Christians and Muslims laid aside their differences and got along. It was in those moments, when they stripped away the layers of religion, Muslims and Christians alike realized that they were the same. Yet, as great as relations were with some Arab lords, Godfrey probably wouldn’t have been able to expand his kingdom – God’s kingdom – without Tancred’s help.



                    http://www.crusadesandcrusaders.com/...e-known-facts/
                    Long live the Lionheart! Please watch this video
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=jRDwlR4zbEM
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3DBaY0RsxU
                    Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.

                    George S Patton

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Stonewall_Jack View Post
                      Historians credit Baldwin of Bouillon (later Baldwin I) as being the first ‘real’ king of Jerusalem. That was because Baldwin worked and fought tirelessly to expand Christian domination in Palestine.
                      That would be Baldwin of Boulogne I think - not Bouillon.

                      Although Godfrey was his brother.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldwin_I_of_Jerusalem

                      He asked Godfrey if he was truly capable of cutting off the head of a camel with one stroke of his sword. In response, Godfrey drew his sword and struck the camel in the thickest part of his neck, slicing off the head, making the task look as easy as slicing a loaf of bread in half. Amazed, the Arab gave Godfrey his finest collection of glass ware (Rita Stark, 26).
                      Sounds very improbable - who's Rita Stark ?

                      Edit, never mind, found her :

                      https://books.google.be/books?id=QiW...review&f=false

                      In addition to glaring factual errors - she paints a very romantic picture I must say, by contrast check this out :

                      An account from the early 12th century, "The Deeds of God through the Franks" by Guibert of Nogent.

                      And so Godfrey, worthy of the title of duke, a model warrior, accompanied by Hugh the Great, who took after his father in military ardor, courageous as befitted one descended from kings, like a leopard, I might say, together with his retinue, raced to the battle as eagerly as to feast.
                      The Arabs, Persians, and ferocious Turks soon fled; the savage people showed their backs to the Christians. It was a rout, and the wretched army ran in all directions; the Arabs ran like rabbits. Prodigious was the slaughter of the fleeing army; we hardly had enough swords to do all the killing. Swords became dull with cutting so many limbs; they cut men down the way reapers cut wheat with scythe. Here they cut a head, here a nose, here throat, here a pair of ears; a belly is sliced open; everyone in their path dies. Hands become stupefied, arms grow stiff with gore. No one resists them and remains alive; lassitude overcomes the infidels. Their breasts blindly receive the baneful assault.[131]

                      The number of enemy defeated is said to have been 460,000, not counting the Arabs, whose number was too great to be counted.[132] At first, indeed, crying out in despair of their lives,

                      they ran in fear to their tents,[133]

                      After all that, chopping the head off a camel, to make a point, even if apocryphal, would seem a bit superfluous no ?

                      Also - are these the kind of men who'd care for fine glasswares ?

                      The only time camels are mentioned in Nogents account - is as loot upon capturing a place, or food when there's nothing else to be had
                      Last edited by Snowygerry; 29 Jul 19, 08:41.
                      High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post



                        That would be Baldwin of Boulogne I think - not Bouillon.

                        Although Godfrey was his brother.

                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldwin_I_of_Jerusalem



                        Sounds very improbable - who's Rita Stark ?

                        Edit, never mind, found her :

                        https://books.google.be/books?id=QiW...review&f=false

                        In addition to glaring factual errors - she paints a very romantic picture I must say, by contrast check this out :

                        An account from the early 12th century, "The Deeds of God through the Franks" by Guibert of Nogent.






                        After all that, chopping the head off a camel, to make a point, even if apocryphal, would seem a bit superfluous no ?

                        Also - are these the kind of men who'd care for fine glasswares ?

                        The only time camels are mentioned in Nogents account - is as loot upon capturing a place, or food when there's nothing else to be had
                        Fwiw I have a history book on the way called The Epic of the Crusades by Rene Grousset. Ill post what the book has to say in a week or so. I would say wrt the camel story, maybe Godfrey his Knights and the Arab Knights shared a fine meal of Camel meat together. Camel meat is viewed as a delicacy in the middle east as a good Filet Mignon is viewed as a delicacy in the US. It seems there are differing views as to the level of violence in the so called first Crusade. Wikipedia makes a number of unproven suggestions wrt the people and Kingdoms of The middle ages. I still like wiki but If Im really interested in a subject I will look at sites like The Encyclopaedia Britannica as well as books that can be accessed on google as you did above.
                        Long live the Lionheart! Please watch this video
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=jRDwlR4zbEM
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3DBaY0RsxU
                        Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.

                        George S Patton

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Stonewall_Jack View Post
                          It seems there are differing views as to the level of violence in the so called first Crusade.
                          Definitely - numbers in general are a point of discussion when it comes the first crusade, casualties, but also participants.

                          What seems certain is that contemporary sources tend to "inflate" numbers for effect, and that in reality they must have been notably smaller.

                          We know from the Roman sources for example that the entire Byzantine Army at the time must have numbered some 120.000 men, so when you read above that Hugo and Godfrey killed "460,000, not counting the Arabs…" in an afternoon - I wouldn't hesitate to divide that by 100 and start from there.

                          We do learn from those sources ofcourse how the crusaders liked to portray themselves and their enemy :

                          When our men saw the enemy army face-to-face, they wondered where in the world such an infinite number of people had come from. Turks, Arabs, and Saracens stood out among the others, both in number and in nobility; there was a smaller number of auxiliaries and people from less illustrious nations. There you would have seen the heights of the mountains and the slopes of the hills grow dense with this profane mass, and all the plains were covered with countless throngs.
                          They were not without a sense of humour too, and sometimes the style of writing is strangely "modern" - there's for example the story of the divine goose :

                          What I am about to say is ridiculous, but has been testified to by authors who are not ridiculous. A poor woman set out on the journey, when a goose, filled with I do not know what instructions, clearly exceeding the laws of her own dull nature, followed her. Lo, rumor, flying on Pegasean wings, filled the castles and cities with the news that even geese had been sent by God to liberate Jerusalem. Not only did they deny that this wretched woman was leading the goose, but they said that the goose led her. At Cambrai they assert that, with people standing on all sides, the woman walked through the middle of the church to the altar, and the goose followed behind, in her footsteps, with no one urging it on. Soon after, we have learned, the goose died in Lorraine; she certainly would have gone more directly to Jerusalem if, the day before she set out, she had made of herself a holiday meal for her mistress.
                          What they were not however, and did not pretend to be, was kind or charitable, as Stark would have it, not to their fellow Christians and certainly not to "Pagans" as they called them :

                          While the Hungarians, as Christians to Christians, had generously offered everything for sale, our men willfully and wantonly ignored their hospitality and generosity, arbitrarily waging war against them, assuming that they would not resist, but would remain entirely peaceful. In an accursed rage they burned the public granaries we spoke of, raped virgins, dishonored many marriage beds by carrying off many women, and tore out or burned the beards of their hosts. None of them now thought of buying what he needed, but instead each man strove for what he could get by theft and murder, boasting with amazing impudence that he would easily do the same against the Turks.
                          And when they were looking to make an impression with their swordarm, a camelneck wouldn't do :

                          According to reliable, accurate testimony, the following story is told about a remarkable deed he did, when he met at Antioch, on the bridge over the Pharphar, a Turk, wearing no cuirass, but riding a horse. Godfrey struck his guts so forcefully with his sword that the trunk of his body fell to the earth, while the legs remained seated as the horse moved on. The men of Lotharingia customarily had remarkable long as well as sharp swords.
                          Last edited by Snowygerry; 30 Jul 19, 04:29.
                          High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post

                            Definitely - numbers in general are a point of discussion when it comes the first crusade, casualties, but also participants.

                            What seems certain is that contemporary sources tend to "inflate" numbers for effect, and that in reality they must have been notably smaller.

                            We know from the Roman sources for example that the entire Byzantine Army at the time must have numbered some 120.000 men, so when you read above that Hugo and Godfrey killed "460,000, not counting the Arabs…" in an afternoon - I wouldn't hesitate to divide that by 100 and start from there.

                            We do learn from those sources ofcourse how the crusaders liked to portray themselves and their enemy :



                            They were not without a sense of humour too, and sometimes the style of writing is strangely "modern" - there's for example the story of the divine goose :



                            What they were not however, and did not pretend to be, was kind or charitable, as Stark would have it, not to their fellow Christians and certainly not to "Pagans" as they called them :



                            And when they were looking to make an impression with their swordarm, a camelneck wouldn't do :
                            Thanks for the response. Well agree or disagree I have always liked you. I do take it from your postings you would have the view that Godfrey was a violent intolerant man? There are on wikipedia for example unproven allegations against Godfrey and other Christians of the middle ages. For example Britannica makes no mention of Godfreys alleged antisemitism. But wiki makes an unproven remark about Godfrey and antisemitism.

                            You talk about modern language being in some of the reports of those of the so called First Crusade, that is clearly the case on wiki. I feel those allegations against Godfrey are meant to try and tear apart Jews And Catholics. I think Judaism is a religion that stands for equality, you just wont hear that from Trump spiritual adviser Pastor Jeffress btw but you will from me. Like I said I have a history book on the way from a early 20th Century French Historian on this matter, and I feel that book will strengthen my views here. Im arguing that Godfrey was an upright man, and many Catholics that took part in the so called first crusade were upright people, meeting with those of non Christian religions along the way making friendships and learning of each other. After all, you look at some of the Crusader Castles, they had Islamic designs.
                            Long live the Lionheart! Please watch this video
                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=jRDwlR4zbEM
                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3DBaY0RsxU
                            Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.

                            George S Patton

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Stonewall_Jack View Post
                              Thanks for the response. Well agree or disagree I have always liked you. I do take it from your postings you would have the view that Godfrey was a violent intolerant man? There are on wikipedia for example unproven allegations against Godfrey and other Christians of the middle ages. For example Britannica makes no mention of Godfreys alleged antisemitism. But wiki makes an unproven remark about Godfrey and antisemitism.
                              You can't really classify people from a 1000 years ago by todays moral qualifications.

                              Godfrey lived in a violent, intolerant time, in a world divided between Christians and "Pagans".

                              Antisemitism is a very 20th century concept, but the ancients here were well aware of Jews, contrary to Muslims for example who were regarded as a pagan sect founded by an obscure "hermit".

                              Towards the end of his work Nogent devotes a few paragraphs to the Jews of old and compares them to the Christians of his times.

                              The Lord saves the tents of Judah in the beginning, since He, after having accomplished miracles for our fathers, also granted glory to our own times, so that modern men seem to have undergone pain and suffering greater than that of the Jews of old, who, in the company of their wives and sons, and with full bellies, were led by angels who made themselves visible to them. I say that today's men are the ones whom he more truly saves, because he truly receives as his children those whose bodies he has allowed to be slain, and whom he punishes in the temporal world. He says, "That the glory of the house of David may not glorify itself," that is, that the ancients, who excelled in their victories in war, may refrain from excessive pride, when they think of how modern men have done better than they. "The glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may magnify itself against Judah," opposes to modern accomplishments the pride of those who once reigned in Jerusalem and did famous things.
                              And of course when Jerusalem fell no distinction was made, all were killed, and no doubt a significant part of the defenders would have been Jews :

                              When the Provencals, that is, the army of the Count of Saint-Gilles, and all the others had entered the city, a general slaughter of the pagans took place. No one was spared because of tender years, beauty, dignity, or strength: one inescapable death awaited them all. Those who had retreated to the Temple of Solomon continued to battle against us throughout the day, but our men, enraged at the feeble arrogance of these desperate men, attacked them with united force, and by means of their combined efforts penetrated to the depths of the temple, where they inflicted such slaughter on the wretches within the temple that the blood of the innumerable crowd of those who were killed nearly submerged their boots. An innumerable crowd, of mingled sexes and ages, had poured into this Temple; the Franks granted some of them a few moments of life, so that they might remove from the Temple the bodies of the fallen, of whom a foul pile lay scattered here and there. After they had removed the bodies, they were themselves put to the sword.
                              According the norms of his time, Godfrey was a pious man, and pious men at the time killed pagans wherever they could.

                              Originally posted by Stonewall_Jack View Post
                              After all, you look at some of the Crusader Castles, they had Islamic designs.
                              Well it so happens that Nogent actually quotes Godfrey commenting on those castles he had captured during the crusade, there's no indication he cared about their design though, on the other hand he was very well aware of their promotional value at home

                              Then he remembered, with a mocking smile, those who had fled from Antioch, and those who, after they had carried out their mission in Constantinople, had put off returning, and, to inspire the Franks who had remained in France, he added the following about his own fortune: "We have a vast fortune, and, not counting the treasures that belong to others, ten castles that belong to me alone, and an abbey pay me annually total of 1500 marks. And if God favors my taking Aleppo, I shall soon have 100 castles under my command. Do not believe those who have retreated, claiming that we grow weary with hunger, but rather trust in my words."
                              Last edited by Snowygerry; 31 Jul 19, 04:51.
                              High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Stonewall_Jack View Post
                                Like I said I have a history book on the way from a early 20th Century French Historian on this matter, and I feel that book will strengthen my views here. Im arguing that Godfrey was an upright man, and many Catholics that took part in the so called first crusade were upright people, meeting with those of non Christian religions along the way making friendships and learning of each other.
                                Then you should probably look at those crusaders that remained in the "Outremer" for the next few centuries and established and maintained kingdoms there.

                                They, by necessity, would have lived among Muslims and interacted with them in less violent ways, those are the times when we start to hear about "baptized pagans" for various purposes, but during the first crusade, not so much…

                                And in Spain and Sicily "cultural exchanges" between Christians and Muslims had been going on for centuries.

                                People had been going on individual pilgrimages to Jerusalem and the Holy lands before the crusades too ofcourse.

                                In fact Robert I the Fries, count of Flanders was sort of a proto-crusader, he went with only his personal retinue and remained there for two years, again I know of no indications he made many non-Christian friendships there though…, but I'd have to check.

                                Unfortunately - short of Anna Comnena's Alexiad I know of no other sources that detail that expedition.

                                https://www.britannica.com/biography...nt-of-Flanders
                                Last edited by Snowygerry; 31 Jul 19, 05:26.
                                High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

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