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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    Thanks. Now did you read the article in the OP? No? Didn't think so.
    I read your post. Maybe I shouldnt have bothered with that either.

    BTW do you think that if someone reads an article they'll immeidately be persuaded of what the article's point is? Really?

  2. #12
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I read your post. Maybe I shouldnt have bothered with that either.

    BTW do you think that if someone reads an article they'll immeidately be persuaded of what the article's point is? Really?
    No, it means you're open-minded enough to view the evidence rather than merely hand-wave it away as "modernism" without taking a look.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standuble View Post

    The downside of the whole thing of course was that had the Romans resisted barbarian invasion then they would now of had an economic incentive to invade Germany again. During previous centuries the place was too sparsely populated to ever justify occupation
    Why is that?
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    Why is that?
    They hadn't got around to pumping out enough kids. Also from what I understand they had a far greater geographical region back in Caesar's time but the eastern hordes pushed them westwards over the years. My guess is that it drove up urbanisation and population density.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standuble View Post
    They hadn't got around to pumping out enough kids. Also from what I understand they had a far greater geographical region back in Caesar's time but the eastern hordes pushed them westwards over the years. My guess is that it drove up urbanisation and population density.
    But what does population have to do with it? More "foreign savages" to enslave?
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  6. #16
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Actually, there was no Dark Ages because the label is incredibly euro-centric; other cultures were flourishing at that time. The Islamic world was going through golden age during that period.
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    But what does population have to do with it? More "foreign savages" to enslave?
    Yes. I interpret the Romans as being the proto-typical Mcdonald's customer. They're hungry and they want their food cheap and fast. They don't want to sit there making it and cooking it they want someone else to do all the work and have it ready for them and grow fat off of. In other words the Romans really liked regions which had plenty of loot, plenty of settlements, a potentially large tax base and plenty of slaves. That's what Caesar got when he conquered Gaul (France) - it was much more organised and developed than Germany. They waltz in, enslave millions, have the slaves sent back to Italy and Greece where they can toil at low cost but have an infrastructure which can immediate start churning out a degree of wealth. It was afterwards where they would build modern roads to it, start plundering the region's resources and "romanising" the settlements and their surviving people.

    The Germans were nomads, there was very little for the Romans to work with. They would have had to build cities from scratch, populate it with their own people and build their own lumber and silver mining industry whilst defending it all from tribal attack. They did this in a few places but these were in stable regions with good trade access with pre-existing cities.

    It ended with the Romans having no more slaves and riches to bring into the empire. Over the centuries the Medieval serf model was born where the slave labour force lived from birth and died under a landowner's thumb. This is a stable system but money needs to be spent raising and training the serfs so they can eventually be useful. It isn't half as good as having a newly captured fully grown slave delivered to your doorstep ready to work without any prior investment. Plus there is less trade and more power lies in individual land owners than the government. This is more or less what happened to Western Europe after Rome as well. It would have been too hard to enslave an entire people as they were more-or-less evenly matched.

    Tl;dr version: No slaves made the economy stagnate so the late Roman era was a lot poorer on the whole. The barbarians came in and merely took over an impoverished and broken realm. But the late empire had access to new markets to eat their fast food and it would have helped if they could have rose to their challenge.

    Final note: It should be "There were no "Dark Ages"" in your title.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Actually, there was no Dark Ages because the label is incredibly euro-centric; other cultures were flourishing at that time. The Islamic world was going through golden age during that period.
    I think most people realise it refers only to Europe: the Eastern Roman Empire stayed prosperous for about eight centuries up until Constantinople's sacking in 1204.

    OT: Bear in mind that the "Islamic Golden Age" from what I understand was a myth. The Muslims merely united the Greco-Roman, Sassanid-Persian and Indian spheres of thought under one banner through their expansive conquests allowing the extensive intellectual ideas already existing in each sphere into contact and allowing ideas to be shared. Islam did nothing to encourage this growth - it merely allowed them to do what they want just as long as they were paying the Jizya tax and their thought didn't question Islam's divinity. A lot of it (outside of heretical outsiders) involved merely copying works from one language to another which would later find its way from Arabic to Greek and from there eventually Western languages. E.g. the "Arabic zero" was actually Indian. Islam was more or less as repressive as it is now - with the exceptions of tiny little divergent nuggets in the system which allowed Sharia to become workable. It all dried up when the three regions ran out of intellectual steam which was exacerbated when the Umayyad's were gradually ousted by the Abbasid's and others.

    There was nothing special about Islam that allowed it to occur save for the geography of its empire. It was a golden age which just happened to be Islamic. It could have just of easily been a Christian, Jewish or Zoroastrian golden age.

  9. #19
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standuble View Post

    OT: Bear in mind that the "Islamic Golden Age" from what I understand was a myth.
    And the common myth that there wasn't any "Golden age" during that period of time in the Muslim lands is also a myth. Telling that the scholars of that era never invented anything and merely translated the existing knowledges of India, Persia and Eastern Mediterranea is a myth, a racist and bigoted lie I should add, if you refer to the people who are usually interested into spreading it.

    And the fact that you consider all the various branches of ancient Islam like a kind of unified system tells also a lot about your own confusion and ignorance. In some areas for instance (Andalucia), the Jizya tax was abolished, then re instituted, then abolished once again (Shia/Zahiri takeover during the Almohads). The Islamic world was then much more complex (intellectually speaking) than what you seem to think it was.
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  10. #20
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standuble View Post
    I think most people realise it refers only to Europe: the Eastern Roman Empire stayed prosperous for about eight centuries up until Constantinople's sacking in 1204.

    OT: Bear in mind that the "Islamic Golden Age" from what I understand was a myth. The Muslims merely united the Greco-Roman, Sassanid-Persian and Indian spheres of thought under one banner through their expansive conquests allowing the extensive intellectual ideas already existing in each sphere into contact and allowing ideas to be shared. Islam did nothing to encourage this growth - it merely allowed them to do what they want just as long as they were paying the Jizya tax and their thought didn't question Islam's divinity.
    That should say "Allah's divinity."
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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