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Rise of Islam

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andrew View Drop Down
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  Quote andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Rise of Islam
    Posted: 18-Oct-2007 at 20:43
Originally posted by arch.buff

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim

For your claims of western/eastern....whos to say?? Would you classify Byzantine as western or eastrern?? As it did differ from classical Roman. Would you classify classical Greek as eastern or western??

Seeing as it was the Eastern Roman Empire that was the original East. I don't think it is in anyway far to regard the Eastern empire as Western.

East vs West = Eastern Roman Empire vs Western Roman Empire originally.

And of course, the Persians Egyptians and Greeks are certainly not western.
 
It may appear very cut and dry to you, this labeling but it certainly isnt for many. Greeks obviously not being western?? I know many would pause at that statement.
 
And if the Romans were so western why did the take so much from the "eastern" greeks? You see there isnt always such a cut and dry line between the two, for instance the Eastern Roman Empire under Constantine would probably seem very "western", but that same culture under Constantine X appeared to western Europe as the "oriental eastern". Label them if you wish but to me the line becomes a little foggy depending on the view 
 
I agree on this. Greece is considered the start of the Western Civilization. Much of the culture was homegrown, Black and White scholars debate this, this is whay Greek Civilization is so controversial, which then would influence Rome and the rest of the world. Greece after all is considered part of Europe and if you start learning Western Civilization you start with Greece.
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Omar al Hashim View Drop Down
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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Oct-2007 at 01:47
Western vs Eastern is little more than us vs them, so people will always be shifting the boundries to suit which ever claim they wish. It isn't cut and dry at all.
I'm saying the original East vs West, was the Western Roman Empire, vs the Eastern Roman Empire. So regarding the Eastern Empire and western is not something that should be done. The eastern roman empire is as western as the Ottoman Empire.

What we should be talking about it cultural groups, rather than east & west abstractions. Culturally, Greeks, Egyptians, Syrians and Arabs are in the same group (doubly so in modern times), so Arab architecture naturally is very similar to these groups. This is Roman influence, because Greeks, Egyptians and Syrians were Romans, but Roman is not a synonum for western. Arabs were not influenced by Germanic and Celtic architecture (ignoring Spain)
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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Oct-2007 at 13:05
I agree with most of what you're saying, Omar al Hashim, but there are however a few problems with grouping the Greeks together with the Egyptians, Syrians and Arabs.
 
First, if we are to claim the ERE was as western as the Ottoman Empire, we must disregard the fact that the ERE was primarily the heir of a Graeco-Roman cultural tradition which sprang from Greece and Italy, whereas the Ottoman Empire was primarily the heir of an oriental tradition of empire inherited from the Caliphates. Of course it could be argued the Caliphates themselves were heirs of the Graeco-Roman tradition as well, but I would say this is mostly true for the Ummajads and less so for the later Abassids, who ruled more in extension of Persian than Roman traditions.
 
Second, it is problematic to group the Greeks, modern and ancient, with Arabs, Syrians and Egyptians based on similarities in architecture derived from a shared Graeco-Roman heritage. These were influences which in ancient times went -from- Greece to f.ex. Arab lands, not vice versa, and whereas Greek influence would make the Arabs "more Greek" if you will, the Greeks would not become "more Arab" by influencing them.
 
Further, architecture is but one aspect among many, and religion has perhaps the strongest impact of them all. You need go no further than the Greek-Turkish border to find the dividing line between a culture which has developed in extension of Christian traditions and one which has developed (until recently at least) in extension of Islamic traditions, with all the cultural baggage this brings with it. Sure, it is unproblematic to argue that all the lands in the eastern Mediterranean share some traits, but to group the Greeks with Syrians and Arabs rather than the Italians and Slavs needs a stronger case.
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  Quote The Hidden Face Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Oct-2007 at 14:26
We discussed this before If I recall correctly. But anyway, I believe the West means Western Europe and its civilization, so I think that saying that Greek civilization is Western civilization is problematic from the historical point of view. It may be safe to say that Western civilization is a Greek civilization, or rather Western civilization is an imitation of Greek civilization. Just because ancient Greeks and their civilization influenced Western Europeans doesn't mean that ancient Greeks were Westerners.

We can safely claim that the Eastern Roman empire was as western as the Ottoman Empire on the basis of the fact that none of them were a product of Western Europe.
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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Oct-2007 at 14:32
Definitions of "the West" vary and your definition is but one of them, according to which of course you are right, and this is the way definitions are often used. In general however you will rarely find a scholarly consensus on definitions; they are among the most disputed subjects as they are a decisive factor in any historical treatise.
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  Quote The Hidden Face Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Oct-2007 at 15:00
Very good point, Reginmund. It's actually a matter of definition, indeed. As we are, professional or amateur, historians, we should define it objectively and historically correctly. 
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  Quote Kapikulu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Oct-2007 at 23:56
Originally posted by andrew

 if you start learning Western Civilization you start with Greece.
 
Yes, pretty much so because of the adoption of Ancient Greek values, principles, and even material aspects like architecture etc. as "Western Culture"
We gave up your happiness
Your hope would be enough;
we couldn't find neither;
we made up sorrows for ourselves;
we couldn't be consoled;

A Strange Orhan Veli
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