RSS Output
French    German    Spain    Italian    Arabic    Chinese Simplified    Russian

Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Gab@StFerdinandIII - Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from.  It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

Back     Printer Friendly Version  

Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 17, 2011

Charles Nauert, 'The Age of Renaissance' 1981.

Myths of the Middle Ages.....

by StFerdIII

In the past 30 years archeology and good research has of course disproven the myth of the 'Dark Ages'. The idea proffered by the big brains in academia and the media, that the medieval European was a skin wearing savage, self flagellating to the mighty Jesus deity, toothless, witless, and afraid of bathing, is about as relevant a picture of real history as the theories of GlobaloneyWarming are to science. Medieval man was no more pious in general than we are, and certainly in many ways was more grounded in reality than we are today. I doubt that our society could withstand major waves of invasions, the plague, a little ice age, and then develop the accouterments of the modern world. We would whine that government 'has to do something' to stop reality and make the world equal and secure.

The renascences which lasted from the replacement of 'Roman' rule with Visigothic or German, to 1550 or the Baroque era, were really an unending era of European development. The Dark Ages are an ugly myth of course. It is highly unlikely that a 'dark' society produces a Giotto, an Oresmes, an Aquinas, or a Bede. What is dark is our understanding of the post Roman epoch, an empire that had long outlived any usefulness. What is undoubtedly dark are the modern cults around Climate-baloney, pop-culture, Obama-worship and Marxist theological worship.

In 1981 historian Nauert wrote an interesting book contrasting the southern European age of rebirth in the 16th century with that of northern Europe. Nauert is a man of common sense. His main proposal as far as my little mind can grasp it, is that the northern European states accepted the influence of the Italian renaissance only after it suited their particular social and cultural needs. From this it follows that the northern European extension of medieval cultural rebirth, in the areas of reason, innovation, economic and social transformation, and even war, were likewise geographically and culturally rooted in their own experiences. As with most of history culture determines everything else.

“The North itself would never have accepted Renaissance culture if that culture had not suited its needs. The reorganized, powerful monarchies of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries needed a new ideal for their servants and courtiers, and the emphasis on public service, on personal merit, and on learning provided an attractive substitute...”

Early modern capitalism centered first in northern Italy and then spreading to the Low countries and England was transforming European society. States, individuals, courts and organizations were becoming much wealthier. Capital and trade flows became denser and more fluid. State competition meant that taxation and the heavy impositions of arbitrary rule were becoming relics, though it would take 3 full centuries to finally kill off divine right rule.

“In addition to the monarchs and their courts, other important groups in the North also found humanistic culture attractive. The powerful, self-confident merchant oligarchies that governed the important towns, especially the prospering towns of the Rhine Valley and of south Germany, found in humanism a cultural ideal far more suited to the needs and prejudices of urban magnates than were the chivalric and scholastic traditions of the Middle Ages.”

By 1500 history had moved on. The Catholic Church which saved Europe from Islam and the migrating hordes of Central Asian nomads was by 1500 in need of its own rebirth, which found expression in the doctrines [sometimes the very strange doctrines] of Luther and the biting satire of Europe's first modern writer Erasmus. New capital and new ideas meant a new culture had to be formed. A charter weakness of the 16th century Renaissance was its vapid mimicking of Rome and Greece. Neither ancient Rome nor Greece were apogees of enlightenment, nor were they perfect models in any sphere of activity. Yet the Renaissance consciously designed itself to follow these ancient societies as if they were the beacons of civilisation. In some areas such as literature and general education this did make sense.

“....the conscious adoption of an idealized Greek and Roman antiquity as the model for reforming literature, education, and the whole ideal of the educated man. Even more than in Italy, Northern humanists enthusiastically looked to the apostolic and patristic age of the Church as a valuable part of the ancient heritage they sought to restore. This emphasis on ancient Christianity, combined with the widespread movements of lay piety that flourished in the lower Rhine Valley and other parts of Northern Europe, explains why humanism north of the Alps directed much of its reformist activity toward reform of the Church and deepening of religious experience.”

Nauert thus presents a dilemma. We are taught that the Renaissance was a rejection of the 'Middle Ages' and the enshrinement of reason. This is not true. It was purification process as much as it was a progressive stage towards more rational discourse and organization. Seen in this light the age of the Renaissance is not a separate epoch at all, but simply a continuation of the many 'renascences' which had been in train since 500 AD. The culture was changing and reforming. There was no decisive 'break' with the past as Voltaire and others believed. The shift from the time of Oresmes and the Scholastics to the 18th century Enlightenment was gradual and rooted in the past as much as it was formed by reasoning and odes to a bright future. Without Clovis there is no Charlemagne. Without a Giotto there is no Da Vinci.

 


Article Comments:

Related Articles:

Books on Civilization

11/5/2014:  "The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France, and the Creation of Europe in the 10th Century.”

8/14/2014:  Christine Garwood “Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea”

2/19/2014:  'Meism' and Islam; 'Christianity, Islam and Atheism' by William Kilpatrick (2)

2/18/2014:  Christianity, Islam and Atheism by William Kilpatrick

4/24/2013:   Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church by George Weigel

4/8/2013:  Scranton and the 'Velikovsky Heresies' - a challenge to the cult of 'science'.

1/3/2013:  'Why Capitalism', by Alan Meltzer

12/10/2012:  Medieval Technology and Social Change, Lynn White Jr., Oxford Press, 1968

12/4/2012:  Heresy: Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity, by Michael Coren

11/14/2012:  Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem by Jay W. Richards

10/9/2012:  Caravaggio, A life sacred and profane  Andrew Graham-Dixon - fantastic.

9/22/2012:  Book Review: Michael Coren, 'Why Catholics are Right'.

9/3/2012:  Book Review, Why the West is Best, by Ibn Warraq, Part Two

8/28/2012:  Book Review, Why the West is Best, by Ibn Warraq, Part One

5/22/2012:  The Early Middle Ages 400-1000, Editor Rosamund McKitterick, Short Oxford History of Europe

5/6/2012:  Book Review: 'Seven Lies about Catholic History', Diane Moczar

4/29/2012:  Gottlieb part 2: The Dream of Reason, A History of Philosophy

4/23/2012:  Book Review part one: 'The Dream of Reason, A History of Philosophy', by A. Gottlieb

4/12/2012:  Review, Emmet Scott: 'Mohammed and Charlemagne'

3/6/2012:  Henri Pirenne, 'Mohammed and Charlemagne' – Part 2

3/1/2012:  Henri Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne – Part One

2/11/2012:  Niall Ferguson, 'Civilization' and the collapse of Europe

12/30/2011:  Mark Steyn, 'After America – Get Ready for Armageddon'

12/9/2011:  Book Review, Nigel Cliff's 'Holy War'. Flawed but interesting.

11/7/2011:  'How Civilizations Die', D. P. Goldman, 2011, 270 pgs.

10/21/2011:  'Religion and the Rise of Western Culture' – Christopher Dawson [Kindle Edition]

9/16/2011:  Morris Bishop: The Middle Ages

9/6/2011:  Life in a Medieval City, by Joseph and Frances Gies, Harper Collins.

8/31/2011:  Adrian Goldsworthy, 'Caesar', 632 pages, 40 pages of source notes.

7/18/2011:  Steve Ozment, 'The Legacy of the Reformation', 1980.

7/16/2011:  G. R. Elton, The New Cambridge Modern History, vol. ii, The Reformation, 1958

6/17/2011:  Charles Nauert, 'The Age of Renaissance' 1981.

6/5/2011:  The Monks of War by Desmond Seward.

9/21/2010:  Rodney Stark: 'Cities of God'. Another excellent book.

8/18/2009:  Michelle Malkin's 'Culture of Corruption: Obama and his team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies.'

4/5/2008:  Book Review: 'Forges of Empires' 1861-1871; Three revolutionary statesman and the world they made.'