Author Topic: Orthodox view of the Crusades  (Read 6963 times)

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Offline Rohzek

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Re: Orthodox view of the Crusades
« Reply #45 on: October 18, 2015, 11:48:53 PM »
As some members said before, I will not believe today's modern historian interpretation of what happened in the past. Today's interpretation of history is biased in a very bad way-even though the study of history in general can't be objective- today's modern historians judge the past by today's standards, which results in a bad interpretation of what really happened.

In order to get the best picture there is of what happened, you need to take into consideration several factors which include but are not limited to; the culture of the day, the political and social attitudes of the day, the people who were involved from both sides, and their background and why they got involved, and most of all, who caused the crusades in the first place. Only then we can get a better understanding of what happened. Better than today's modern historians who like to blame the Church for almost everything bad happened, instead of doing their homework.

Please, give the names of which modern historians you dislike and give specific examples.

When I say "modern historians". I mean the historians that follow the 'Whig interpretation' of history blindly, look at the past as an age of darkness, when the Church was in control of the minds of the people...etc And believe that today we are much better due to science and the future is going to be even better than today. This "chronological snobbery" is the one that bothers me about some historians today. And as Amatorus mentioned,some text books are biased; One of the books which I had to buy for one of the classes, blames all the ignorance of the so called 'Dark Ages' and the sudden stop of the scientific progress on Christianity, and claims that with the divine intervention of the so called 'Enlightenment movement' we were saved from the shadow of ignorance that was brought upon us with Christianity. This type of disgustingly chronological snobbery and twisted representation that are leaked into what is supposed to be Academic books, is what I was talking about in my earlier post. When I buy a book that costed me hundreds of dollars, I expect it to be free from this type of myths that are driven by certain Atheistic agendas. I expect it to be objective and factual. If I wanted a book full of myths and lies, I would've easily bought one of the today's new Atheism books for 20 or 30$ maximum.

No serious medieval historian has used the Whig interpretation of history for at least the past 60 years. The only people who still adhere to anything like it are people who love Norbert Elias' The Civilizing Process. And of the people who love that book, most of them are early modernists and people in literature. Again, no medievalist has done this since like forever.
"Il ne faut imaginer Dieu ni trop bon, ni méchant. La justice est entre l'excès de la clémence et la cruauté, ainsi que les peines finies sont entre l'impunité et les peines éternelles." - Denise Diderot, Pensées philosophiques 1746

Offline Cavaradossi

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Re: Orthodox view of the Crusades
« Reply #46 on: October 19, 2015, 09:19:24 AM »
As some members said before, I will not believe today's modern historian interpretation of what happened in the past. Today's interpretation of history is biased in a very bad way-even though the study of history in general can't be objective- today's modern historians judge the past by today's standards, which results in a bad interpretation of what really happened.

In order to get the best picture there is of what happened, you need to take into consideration several factors which include but are not limited to; the culture of the day, the political and social attitudes of the day, the people who were involved from both sides, and their background and why they got involved, and most of all, who caused the crusades in the first place. Only then we can get a better understanding of what happened. Better than today's modern historians who like to blame the Church for almost everything bad happened, instead of doing their homework.

Please, give the names of which modern historians you dislike and give specific examples.

When I say "modern historians". I mean the historians that follow the 'Whig interpretation' of history blindly, look at the past as an age of darkness, when the Church was in control of the minds of the people...etc And believe that today we are much better due to science and the future is going to be even better than today. This "chronological snobbery" is the one that bothers me about some historians today. And as Amatorus mentioned,some text books are biased; One of the books which I had to buy for one of the classes, blames all the ignorance of the so called 'Dark Ages' and the sudden stop of the scientific progress on Christianity, and claims that with the divine intervention of the so called 'Enlightenment movement' we were saved from the shadow of ignorance that was brought upon us with Christianity. This type of disgustingly chronological snobbery and twisted representation that are leaked into what is supposed to be Academic books, is what I was talking about in my earlier post. When I buy a book that costed me hundreds of dollars, I expect it to be free from this type of myths that are driven by certain Atheistic agendas. I expect it to be objective and factual. If I wanted a book full of myths and lies, I would've easily bought one of the today's new Atheism books for 20 or 30$ maximum.

No serious medieval historian has used the Whig interpretation of history for at least the past 60 years. The only people who still adhere to anything like it are people who love Norbert Elias' The Civilizing Process. And of the people who love that book, most of them are early modernists and people in literature. Again, no medievalist has done this since like forever.

The irony in all of this is that were it not for the work of historians which Raylight and Amatorus ignorantly criticize, they probably would not even have thought to question those common narratives about the dark ages being a time of regression.
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Offline Amatorus

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Re: Orthodox view of the Crusades
« Reply #47 on: October 19, 2015, 10:47:46 AM »
And the Enlightenment and modern philosophers were inspired by thinkers such as Thomas Quinas and Sir Francis Bacon. Must John Locke and Nietzsche therefore be Catholic?

We can learn and adapt from predecessors without endorsing them. A broken clock is right twice a day, but you can smelt the metal into a new machine. There is beauty in that.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Orthodox view of the Crusades
« Reply #48 on: October 19, 2015, 10:55:37 AM »
A broken clock is right twice a day,
Not if it's digital.
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Offline Amatorus

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Re: Orthodox view of the Crusades
« Reply #49 on: October 19, 2015, 11:12:05 AM »
A broken clock is right twice a day,
Not if it's digital.
Digital clocks aren't as pretty.

Offline Rohzek

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Re: Orthodox view of the Crusades
« Reply #50 on: October 19, 2015, 12:16:19 PM »
And the Enlightenment and modern philosophers were inspired by thinkers such as Thomas Quinas and Sir Francis Bacon. Must John Locke and Nietzsche therefore be Catholic?

We can learn and adapt from predecessors without endorsing them. A broken clock is right twice a day, but you can smelt the metal into a new machine. There is beauty in that.

The Crusades had plenty of contemporary critics in the Latin West.

Aside from that, my opinion of Thomas Aquinas is probably about the same as Bertrand Russel's of the man. Nietzsche was a nut with holes in his brain. And John Locke was phenomenal in many aspects. I'm not sure what any of these philosopher have to do with the history of the Crusades though.

I really suggest reading some of the books and articles I listed on the first page.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2015, 12:19:26 PM by Rohzek »
"Il ne faut imaginer Dieu ni trop bon, ni méchant. La justice est entre l'excès de la clémence et la cruauté, ainsi que les peines finies sont entre l'impunité et les peines éternelles." - Denise Diderot, Pensées philosophiques 1746

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Orthodox view of the Crusades
« Reply #51 on: October 19, 2015, 12:48:07 PM »
Quote
Before the Emperor had enjoyed even a short rest, he heard a report of the approach of innumerable Frankish armies. Now he dreaded their arrival for he knew their irresistible manner of attack, their unstable and mobile character and all the peculiar natural and concomitant characteristics which the Frank retains throughout; and he also knew that they were always agape for money, and seemed to disregard their truces readily for any reason that cropped up. For he had always heard this reported of them, and found it very true. However, he did not lose heart, but prepared himself in every way so that, when the occasion called, he would be ready for battle. And indeed the actual facts were far greater and more terrible than rumour made them. For the whole of the West and all the barbarian tribes which dwell between the further side of the Adriatic and the pillars of Heracles, had all migrated in a body and were marching into Asia through the intervening Europe, and were making the journey with all their household. The reason of this upheaval was more or less the following. A certain Frank, Peter by name, nicknamed Cucupeter [*= Peter of the Cowl], had gone to worship at the Holy Sepulchre and after suffering many things at the hands of the Turks and Saracens who were ravaging Asia, [249] he got back to his own country with difficulty. But he was angry at having failed in his object, and wanted to undertake the same journey again. However, he saw that he ought not to make the journey to the Holy Sepulchre alone again, lest worse things befall him, so he worked out a cunning plan. This was to preach in all the Latin countries that ' the voice of God bids me announce to all the Counts in France that they should all leave their homes and set out to worship at the Holy Sepulchre, and to endeavour wholeheartedly with hand and mind to deliver Jerusalem from the hand of the Hagarenes.' And he really succeeded. For after inspiring the souls of all with this quasi-divine command he contrived to assemble the Franks from all sides, one after the other, with arms, horses and all the other paraphernalia of war. And they were all so zealous and eager that every highroad was full of them. And those Frankish soldiers were accompanied by an unarmed host more numerous than the sand or the stars, carrying palms and crosses on their shoulders; women and children, too, came away from their countries. And the sight of them was like many rivers streaming from all sides, and they were advancing towards us through Dacia generally with all their hosts. Now the coming of these many peoples was preceded by a locust which did not touch the wheat, but made a terrible attack on the vines. This was really a presage as the diviners of the time interpreted it, and meant that this enormous Frankish army would, when it came, refrain from interference in Christian affairs, but fall very heavily upon the barbarian Ishmaelites who were slaves to drunkenness, wine, and Dionysus. For this race is under the sway of Dionysus and Eros, rushes headlong into all kind of sexual intercourse, and is not circumcised either in the flesh or in their passions. It is nothing but a slave, nay triply enslaved, to the ills wrought by Aphrodite. For this reason they worship and adore Astarte and Ashtaroth too and value above all the image of the moon, and the golden figure of Hobar in their country. Now in these symbols Christianity was taken to be the corn because of its wineless and very nutritive qualities; in this manner the diviners interpreted the vines and the wheat. However let the matter of the prophecy rest.

The incidents of the barbarians' approach followed in the order I have described, and persons of intelligence could feel that they were witnessing a strange occurrence. The arrival of these multitudes did not take place at the same [250] time nor by the same road (for how indeed could such masses starting from different places have crossed the straits of Lombardy all together?) Some first, some next, others after them and thus successively all accomplished the transit, and then marched through the Continent. Each army was preceded, as we said, by an unspeakable number of locusts; and all who saw this more than once recognized them as forerunners of the Frankish armies. When the first of them began crossing the straits of Lombardy sporadically the Emperor summoned certain leaders of the Roman forces, and sent them to the parts of Dyrrachium and Valona with instructions to off er a courteous welcome to the Franks who had crossed, and to collect abundant supplies from all the countries along their route; then to follow and watch them covertly all the time, and if they saw them making any foraging excursions, they were to come out from under cover and check them by light skirmishing. These captains were accompanied by some men who knew the Latin tongue, so that they might settle any disputes that arose between them.

Let me, however, give an account of this subject more clearly and in due order. According to universal rumour Godfrey, who had sold his country, was the first to start on the appointed road; this man was very rich and very proud of his bravery, courage and conspicuous lineage; for every Frank is anxious to outdo the others. And such an upheaval of both men and women took place then as had never occurred within human memory, the simpler-minded were urged on by the real desire of worshipping at our Lord's Sepulchre, and visiting the sacred places; but the more astute, especially men like Bohemund and those of like mind, had another secret reason, namely, the hope that while on their travels they might by some means be able to seize the capital itself, looking upon this as a kind of corollary. And Bohemund disturbed the minds of many nobler men by thus cherishing his old grudge against the Emperor. Meanwhile Peter, after he had delivered his message, crossed the straits of Lombardy before anybody else with eighty thousand men on foot, and one hundred thousand on horseback, and reached the capital by way of Hungary. For the Frankish race, as one may conjecture, is always very hotheaded and eager, but when once it has espoused a cause, it is uncontrollable.
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Offline JamesR

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Re: Orthodox view of the Crusades
« Reply #52 on: October 21, 2015, 01:37:58 AM »
...but honestly I feel this has to be an exaggerated and vocal minority at best, if not entirely fictional. How did the main players of Western civilization who were strong and skilled enough to even make the journey there at all suddenly reach Aztec-level brutality?

How did a bunch of wealthy college educated white kids revert to such wanton acts of cruelty via the Stanford Prison Experiment? If there is one thing I've learned from The Lucifer Effect it is that every human being regardless of character has the potential to revert into unspeakable wickedness given the right circumstances. In this case, the notion of a "holy" war and strong us-them mentality. Either way, I don't see it as being wrong. The Muslims had it coming for a long time and are the ones who eventually made it to the gates of Vienna before definitively being pushed back. It is amazing how secular revisionists have been able to completely sell the narrative that the Christians were the imperialists when in reality the Crusades were defensive wars. Maybe that doesn't justify all of the actions that occurred, but the wars themselves were still just. Just as FDR's unethical internment of Japanese-Americans does not negate the justness of WWII.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Orthodox view of the Crusades
« Reply #53 on: October 21, 2015, 10:20:03 AM »
How did a bunch of wealthy college educated white kids revert to such wanton acts of cruelty...?

"Revert"?
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Offline JamesR

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Re: Orthodox view of the Crusades
« Reply #54 on: October 21, 2015, 02:43:07 PM »
How did a bunch of wealthy college educated white kids revert to such wanton acts of cruelty...?

"Revert"?

Evil is a part of human nature. That's one thing Calvin got right.

Offline Shamati

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Re: Orthodox view of the Crusades
« Reply #55 on: November 03, 2015, 05:33:20 PM »
Of course history is biased. We understand ourselves very much through our view of history. If we view ourselves as the "greatest versions ever" of mankind because we have progressed from the depths of the darkness of caves to the shining light of enlightenment - you're gonna have a specific view of history.

Personally, I've read some material written by guys who chronicled the events at the time. Sure they have probably been filtered & there are probably alot more I could read - but I've come out very "pro-latin" & view the crusades as a great movement that I believe was on the whole motivated by religiosity.

Just imagine the situation of the people back then; western europeans believed wholeheartedly that christianity was the whole truth & that the Pope of Rome was the successor to St Peter that had authority from God himself! This Pope of Rome now issues an "apostolic proclamation", invoking his authority as successor to St Peter, saying that ANYONE who goes to fight the muslims will be forgiven of their sins & thereby reduce their time in Purgatory; which they believed was a burning Fire that would basically punish every baptized person that had sinned.

The crusades didnt consist of just corrupt noblemen - it was a movement of peasants as well. Whole families went on Crusade from Scandinavia, France, Italy & all-over the part of Europe under the Latin Church.

They did this because they truly did believe they were doing a service to the eastern christians - you can see it for yourselves if you read the writings of catholic saints & other catholics during the time.. They will criticize the fact that they "dont submit to the throne of St Peter" but they seem to view this as an obstacle that will eventually be overcome. It was still a war to defend the Body of Christ as they saw it..

The Emperor probably asked for a small, elite force of knights but instead he got a whole movement.

The small crusader kingdoms was also pretty successful & I think one should see the dominance of Spain, Vienna, Genoa etc. & all other catholic mediterranean nations as 'extensions' of a movement initially begun by the Crusades & although it had bad consequences for Constantinople, I think that had the Crusades not happened - the muslims would've conquered the whole of Europe.

The Eastern Roman Empire had taken the main blow of islam & wasnt going to survive much longer, even if the crusade never happened. Just look at the steady loss of territory during the centuries.

A more interesting question for me is why there was never a corresponding movement in eastern christianity? If the Orthodox Church had managed to mobilize the converted Slavs for the defense & reconquest of the Empire, I dont think it's unreasonable to assume a slow reconquest of at least the Greek-speaking parts of Anatolia, similar to how various tribes, confederations & bandsof warriors that was loosely "united" only under the Catholic faith managed to reconquer the whole of Spain from what was then a shining beacon of Islam..

The ability to mobilize such a large mass of people is something probably only a Pope of Rome (who is viewed by his subjects as appointed by God himself to rule His Church) could do & only during this specific time in history..
Another interesting example later in history is the so-called "Holy-League" mobilized by Pope Pius V to defend Europe against the Ottomans. This league didnt include the whole of western Europe, who was now divided between protestants & catholics, but interestingly, even Catholic France stayed an ally of the Ottoman Sultan during the battle at Lepanto - something unthinkable during the 1st crusade & despicable even to the protestant english at the time..
« Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 05:41:34 PM by Shamati »

Offline JamesR

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Re: Orthodox view of the Crusades
« Reply #56 on: November 03, 2015, 07:19:55 PM »
A more interesting question for me is why there was never a corresponding movement in eastern christianity? If the Orthodox Church had managed to mobilize the converted Slavs for the defense & reconquest of the Empire, I dont think it's unreasonable to assume a slow reconquest of at least the Greek-speaking parts of Anatolia, similar to how various tribes, confederations & bandsof warriors that was loosely "united" only under the Catholic faith managed to reconquer the whole of Spain from what was then a shining beacon of Islam..

Probably because Russia at least was subject to the Mongol Empire for most of the time that the Crusades took place and barely gained independence during the latter half of the 15th century, which was precisely the same time the Eastern Roman Empire fell. Then later on when the Russian Empire actually did try to reconquer Ottoman territory, "Christian" Western Europe always intervened in favor of the Muslims. Kind of like NATO during the Yugoslavian conflict of the 1990s...

Offline Shamati

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Re: Orthodox view of the Crusades
« Reply #57 on: November 04, 2015, 05:05:32 PM »
A more interesting question for me is why there was never a corresponding movement in eastern christianity? If the Orthodox Church had managed to mobilize the converted Slavs for the defense & reconquest of the Empire, I dont think it's unreasonable to assume a slow reconquest of at least the Greek-speaking parts of Anatolia, similar to how various tribes, confederations & bandsof warriors that was loosely "united" only under the Catholic faith managed to reconquer the whole of Spain from what was then a shining beacon of Islam..

Probably because Russia at least was subject to the Mongol Empire for most of the time that the Crusades took place and barely gained independence during the latter half of the 15th century, which was precisely the same time the Eastern Roman Empire fell. Then later on when the Russian Empire actually did try to reconquer Ottoman territory, "Christian" Western Europe always intervened in favor of the Muslims. Kind of like NATO during the Yugoslavian conflict of the 1990s...
But the spaniards also lived under the yoke of foreign occupation; the muslim caliphate & later smaller emirates - yet they managed to reconquer it. I think because of the influence of the Popes

The west isnt christian - it's secular. First & foremost, all policies are judged against how to best strengthen the power of the western nation at the top at the time. Intervening on behalf of the serbs would've made sense if you saw the world in the way that strengthening christianity was a priority in the long term. But it isnt. Since Britain became the main empire of the west, trade has been the only goal of empire building.

Also, the great powers of Europe were protestant & when they were religious they had an intense hatred for everything catholic & orthodox.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2015, 05:06:31 PM by Shamati »