By John J. O'Neill
In this ground-breaking paintings, historian John J. O'Neill examines an exceptional number of facts from many specialties and reaches an miraculous and novel end: Classical Civilization used to be no longer destroyed by way of Barbarians or via Christians. It survived intact into the early 7th century. The Vandals and Goths who seized the Western Empire within the 5th century had develop into thoroughly romanized by means of the beginning of the 6th century. inventive and highbrow existence flourished, as did the economic system and the towns equipped previous below the Empire. but someday in the course of the 7th century every little thing replaced. towns have been deserted, literacy plummeted, royal authority declined and native strongmen, or "barons", seized regulate of the provinces. the center a while had begun.
Who or what had brought on this? As O'Neill notes, by way of the Nineteen Twenties Belgian historian Henri Pirenne had situated the proverbial "smoking gun"; however it used to be now not within the arms of the Barbarians or the Christians: it used to be held by means of those that, even then, it had develop into trendy to credits with saving, instead of destroying, Classical Civilization: the Arabs. In a end that might have resonance for the fashionable global, O'Neill argues convincingly that each one we regard as "Medieval" had its beginning in Islam, and that the Muslims terminated Classical Civilization in Europe simply as absolutely as they did within the heart East. O'Neill exhibits how the unexpected relapse of Europe within the 7th century used to be due solely to the commercial blockade imposed by way of Islam's conflict opposed to Christendom. The Mediterranean, which had formerly been a cultural street, now grew to become a frontier, and a truly risky frontier at it. triggered via Islam's doctrine of perpetual battle opposed to nonbelievers, Muslim pirates scoured the Mediterranean, successfully finishing all alternate among Europe and the nice facilities of civilization within the close to East. The circulate of gold ended, as did the provision of all luxurious goods. And so too did the provision of papyrus from Egypt, with out which Europeans have been compelled to depend upon pricey parchment. now not strangely, literacy plummeted. Worst of all, the nice towns of the West, which depended upon the alternate in luxurious goods from the East, started to decline.
As the dominant strength of the time, principles originating within the Islamic international now started to penetrate Europe. From their Muslim foes Christian Europeans started to imagine in phrases that might were incredible a century previous. the assumption of "Holy conflict" entered the frame of mind of Christians, and, lower than the impact of Islam, the rationalism of Greece and Rome started to get replaced by means of a literal and illiberal interpretation of "The Book." Classical civilization was once dead.
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Holy Warriors: Islam and the Demise of Classical Civilization by John J. O'Neill