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Mosher "K"
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Roman empire in Europe and Han Empire in East Asia both were the most advance and most civilised empires at the same time were under barbarian invasions, and both Empire collapsed at the end, so how come East asia got reunited later but Europe were drag into the dark age with wars going on all the time, Im just wondering what European people think about whats stoping Europe to become a unify nation again, and what they think of Roman empire, are you proud of it?
 

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^^There are. After the fall of Western part of the Roman Empire. Europe are united under Germans Frank Tribe. The new empire called as Holy Roman Empire. It last until 19th century, when France Emperor Napoleon dismiss it. Europe are united again in 20th century under European Union.
 

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Londinium langur
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Why do you guys think it's wierd? I think it's interesting! To answer your question, Kenwen, yes, I am extremely proud of the Roman Empire as part of the common heritage of western civilisation (along with other fundamental sources of our civilisation, such as Greece and Christianity). However Britannia was a mere province. Modern Britons do not think, therefore, that the glory of Rome is "our" heritage, so to speak, even though we were part of it, and my city, London, was founded by the Romans (Londinium). There's also the fact that most modern Britons are descended from Anglo-Saxon and Viking invaders, who arrived after the fall of the Roman Empire, and whose homelands were never ruled by Rome.

The idea of the Roman Empire as a precedent for the EU is little far-fetched imo, despite the fact that the Treaty of Rome, that created the EEC (precursor to the EU) back in 1957, was deliberately signed in the ancient imperial capital for symbolic reasons.

However you've got to remember that much of the current EU was never part of the Roman Empire (eg most of Germany, Scandinavia, etc). The Roman Empire also extended far beyond Europe, controlling all of North Africa, and much of the Middle East too. The Roman Empire was in reality centred on the Mediterranean rather than the continent of Europe. If we really wanted to re-create the Roman Empire, then one of the first countries we'd seek to admit to the EU would be Turkey, because Turkey was always one of the most important parts of the Roman Empire, and its greatest city, Istanbul (Constantinople) was capital of the eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire for a thousand years after the fall of the western Empire. And yet most Europeans don't want Turkey in the EU. This is because modern Europe's concept of European culture, civilization, and identity is based primarily on common Christian heritage rather than common Greco-Roman heritage. Turkey is of course Muslim and cannot, therefore, be accepted as European by most Europeans.

The revival of Greco-Roman styles in our art and architecture began with the Renaissance (from C15th in Italy) and continued into the early C20th. However there has been a decisive shift away from that over the course of the C20th. We no longer look to the ancients as an inspirational classical ideal. Indeed the use of Greco-Roman motifs in art and architecture coincided with rise of nationalism across Europe, which is of course completely contrary to the ideal of reunifying Europe into a single Empire or political unit. For this reason too, I think the idea of the EU as a modern successor to Rome is far-fetched. We recycled their art and architecture in the age of nationalism. The building of the EU has corresponded with our ditching of classical art forms and embrace of modernism.

I think you are a Chinese guy looking to find a parallel to China's experience in Europe. I accept the logic of your idea, and there is indeed a parallel in terms of the fall of a brilliant civilization to barbarians, but in reality modern Europe is not seeking to recreate Rome, and I think Europeans see many profound watersheds in their historical narrative, not just Rome (eg Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, World Wars, etc), none of which necessarily tend towards political unity of Europe. The individual nations also have important watersheds of their own. The ideal of political unity retains a far stronger grip on the Chinese imagination than it does on Europe. The centripetal and nationalist forces in Europe are just as strong and attractive as the centrifugal.
 

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cogito ergo sum
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We weren't all part of the Roman Empire in Britain :|
Er, I don't think so . . . they conquered mainland Europe, crossed the channel, dealt with england and then paused for a moment and said, No, we're not going THERE! and built two walls from coast to coast and had infantryment marching along them day and night, keeping them fed and clothed just to draw a line to terminate the Empire before it got to Scotland.

Roman empire in Europe and Han Empire in East Asia both were the most advance and most civilised empires at the same time were under barbarian invasions
Maybe their great ability to build aqueducts to carry fresh water for miles and miles into hte cities just didn't have an economically viable market anymore? It rains a lot in Scotland. And the water tastes okay.
Didn't need the romans.
We even do our own Highland bottled water, thanks!

[keeping it wierd]
 

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Passionately Apathetic
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Er, I don't think so . . . they conquered mainland Europe, crossed the channel, dealt with england and then paused for a moment and said, No, we're not going THERE! and built two walls from coast to coast and had infantryment marching along them day and night, keeping them fed and clothed just to draw a line to terminate the Empire before it got to Scotland.
Erm...exactly. Like I said, the whole of Europe was not part of the Roman Empire - doh!
 

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Think of post Roman Europe as similar to the age of warring states.

China was less conservative and more dynamic during that period because philosophers and thinkers who displeased one leader could escape to another state rather than submit.

Europe's pre eminence was the result of it's break up. Brilliant minds who once would have been stifled if they displeased the emperor where free to think under a local lord.

The dark ages in Europe were far from dark.
 

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cogito ergo sum
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Think of post Roman Europe as similar to the age of warring states.

China was less conservative and more dynamic during that period because philosophers and thinkers who displeased one leader could escape to another state rather than submit.

Europe's pre eminence was the result of it's break up. Brilliant minds who once would have been stifled if they displeased the emperor where free to think under a local lord.

The dark ages in Europe were far from dark.
What a puzzing post! But appropriate to this thread, I guess.

But I'm sorry to say that I can only read it as something parrallel to contemporary populist celebrity gossip!
You seem to be conflating a tiny handful of "philosohers", "thinkers", "leaders", "brilliant minds" and "emperors" with the concurrent civilisations of people toiling, struggling, laughing, eating, birthing, dying, cultivating and sufferring. And I can't see the connection at all.

The Roman Empire, as with all other ways of defining a "civilisation", is composed on many many detailled, mundane intricate and, ultimately, short, lives.

And what are these blanket terms "dark ages" and "China"? How much detail is lost by using those catchall terms?

I'm trying to be sympathetic, Isaac, but I am struggling here.
 

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I'm sweet enough
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Think of post Roman Europe as similar to the age of warring states.

China was less conservative and more dynamic during that period because philosophers and thinkers who displeased one leader could escape to another state rather than submit.

Europe's pre eminence was the result of it's break up. Brilliant minds who once would have been stifled if they displeased the emperor where free to think under a local lord.

The dark ages in Europe were far from dark.
Yep, the term has been too popularized, so some people think that Europe was moving backwards at that time.


"What else, then, is all history, but the praise of Rome?"—Petrarch

"Those who suggest that the 'dark ages' were a time of violence and superstition would do well to remember the appalling cruelties of our own time, truly without parallel in past ages, as well as the fact that the witch-hunts were not strictly speaking a medieval phenomenon but belong rather to the so-called Renaissance."[44] — Jacques Le Goff

"The Middle Ages is an unfortunate term. It was not invented until the age was long past. The dwellers in the Middle Ages would not have recognized it. They did not know that they were living in the middle; they thought, quite rightly, that they were time's latest achievement."[45] — Morris Bishop

"If it was dark, it was the darkness of the womb."[46] — Lynn White
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_ages
 

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Londinium langur
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Yep, the term has been too popularized, so some people think that Europe was moving backwards at that time.
It was. The level of civilization under the Roman Empire was vastly greater than in the next few centuries that followed.
 

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It was. The level of civilization under the Roman Empire was vastly greater than in the next few centuries that followed.
If you were a northern barbarian. Southern Europe, especially the southern Iberian and Italian peninsulas were thriving, especially those parts under Muslim rule. Cordoba having plumbing while London and Paris were mud huts and wooden shanty towns and all. ;)
 

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Londinium langur
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^ The Italian peninsula was definitely not thriving at the same level it had been under Roman rule. Arab Cordoba never matched the level of Imperial Rome. Much of Northern Europe had never been part of the Empire in the first place. Whilst it may be true that were pockets of dim light in southern Europe in the midst of the Dark Ages, there's also no denying the catastrophic decline of civilisation in Europe after the fall of Rome.
 

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What a puzzing post! But appropriate to this thread, I guess.

But I'm sorry to say that I can only read it as something parrallel to contemporary populist celebrity gossip!
You seem to be conflating a tiny handful of "philosohers", "thinkers", "leaders", "brilliant minds" and "emperors" with the concurrent civilisations of people toiling, struggling, laughing, eating, birthing, dying, cultivating and sufferring. And I can't see the connection at all.

The Roman Empire, as with all other ways of defining a "civilisation", is composed on many many detailled, mundane intricate and, ultimately, short, lives.

And what are these blanket terms "dark ages" and "China"? How much detail is lost by using those catchall terms?

I'm trying to be sympathetic, Isaac, but I am struggling here.
What is your actual point? that history forgets those at the bottom of the pile?
 

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...There's also the fact that most modern Britons are descended from Anglo-Saxon and Viking invaders, who arrived after the fall of the Roman Empire, and whose homelands were never ruled by Rome.
Recent DNA evidence suggests that the vast majority of people in the British Isles are believed to be descended from peoples from the Iberian peninsula prior to the arrival of the Romans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_history_of_the_British_Isles
 
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