Let's Start

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Let's Start

Denna diskussion är för närvarande "vilande"—det sista inlägget är mer än 90 dagar gammalt. Du kan återstarta det genom att svara på inlägget.

feb 28, 2007, 2:10 pm

With a range of possible discussions ranging from Sumer to the possible collapse of the Chinese stock exchange and nary a post? I'm shocked.

I'll start.

I miss the Byzantine Empire. I miss the effete city officers and their transformation into hardened warriors when the need arose. I miss Heraclius defeating the Persians but then being too weary to face the Arab onslaught although his defeat was blamed by his contemporaries on God's anger on his marriage to his niece. I miss the back stabbing, the blindings, the forced ensconcings in monasteries, the slaughter of the Bulgars, the millennia of battles at the walls of Theodosius.

I very much like the trilogy (Byzantium: The Early Centuries, Byzantium: The Apogee and Byzantium: The Decline and Fall) by John Julius Norwich. Runciman's The fall of Constantinople, 1453 is good as a finishing coda.

Anyone else?

P. S. I have a lot of built-up hostility. I'm a programmer.

mar 16, 2007, 8:28 pm

OK, I'll bite. While I'm happy to agree that the Byzantines were fascinating, I'm not sure why you say you "miss" them. Care to explain?

I've spent the last few weeks reading up on ancient Africa. (Mostly about the art, because it's prep for the Intro to Art History class I teach, but I've been finding out about its history along the way.) Outside of North Africa and the Nile region, I had no idea there even was such a thing, but I was surprised to learn that there are a handful of cities in West Africa that date back to c. 500 BC, that have been continuously inhabited since then, and that are still the cultural centers of the region today. The city of Ife (the center of Yoruba culture) is particularly impressive, but Jenne is no slouch either. So that's my discovery of the week.

Early Art and Architecture of Africa

mar 19, 2007, 9:42 am

Perhaps 'admire' is a better word. I've always had a soft spot for the underdog which the Byzantines certainly were. For a thousand years an essentially Greek culture fought to hold to the ideal of Rome. The gods they worshipped changed as did their military system and even the very language they spoke but they were still Romans. Many times they were on the throes of destruction but persevered. I admire that very much.

aug 6, 2007, 2:53 pm

I think you may recruit more to this group if you had a site picture. Maybe change it up once in a while with something from various cultures and eras. I got frustrated with the Clio group because they rarely talk about anything. History should be alive and kicking.