Saturday, December 5, 2009

An Interesting Hypothesis

The collapse of classical culture and the Dark Ages were the result of clashes with Islam:
This new Christianity was a direct consequence of the clash with Islam, for it did not appear until after the arrival of Islam. In one respect, the change came quite simply because it had to: Surrounded by aggressors bent on its destruction, aggressors with whom it was impossible to make peace, Christians had to take up arms. This was as true among the Christians of the North, threatened by the Vikings and Hungarians, as it was among the Christians of the South, threatened by the Muslims. But the change was elicited by ideology as well as simple necessity. Europeans began to be profoundly influenced by Muslim ideas – ideas on war, interpretation of Scriptures, heresy, the Jews, etc. This was a purely “Medieval” outlook: indeed, it was the very epitome of what we now mean by “Medieval.”
Yet another example of becoming like one's enemies? Unfortunately, I got the "contact with Muslims brought the backwards West out of the Dark Ages" education back when I was in high school, and even so I didn't pay that much attention back then. It appears that this hypothesis is a significant departure from the accepted historical account, and though I don't have enough background on this particular period in history to make a sound judgment either way, I will say that on the basis of what I do know this hypothesis makes a lot more sense. The longer I live, the less I trust textbook knowledge. The more I find out, the more I find that accepted theories are completely wrong.

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