Conservapedia talk:World History Lecture Six

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ow. I tried to read this. I think I'm getting cranial hemorrhages from the constant /facepalming it caused. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 09:18, 22 July 2008 (EDT)

Wow, i have to say I never realized that the second **milenium** began in the 1000s. Fascinating stuff, this. Can't wait to see who invented the wheel. the English?--WaitingforGodot 09:58, 22 July 2008 (EDT)
Whatever else the author of this crock of shite may know about, he knows f*** all about Byzantine history! Mick McT 09:54, 27 August 2008 (EDT)

The Fourth Crusade[edit]

"Andy makes it sounds as though the Fourth Crusade was unwittingly enticed into sacking Constantinople. They knew perfectly well what they were doing, and were only marching under the Crusader banner as a cheap excuse to get close enough to Constantinople to pillage it." While it is alleged that the Venetians planned the whole thing from the start that's not really a widely accepted theory, most tend to believe that the reason why Constantinople was sacked was because the Crusaders got involved in a Dynastic dispute, I'll let crude internet comics (in this case polandball comics) do the explaining. Given what the Venetians did to Zara, we can't really put it above them to have planned to attack Constantinople as the Crusade got underway but whether or not they actually did is still a area of dispute among historians and it isn't really appropriate to portray that question as being settled when it's not. Alsto003 (talk) 04:34, 7 May 2015 (UTC) Alex

As far as I know it was a bit of both. Sacking Constantinople was a way to pay the Venetians the shortfall the crusade experienced from the start when fewer "paying customers" showed up than had been planned for (and for which Venice had kept back a huge fleet, rather than sending what turned out to be superfluous ships out to trade or raid). This was exacerbated by the crusaders hanging around, waiting (largely in vain) for more comrades in arms to arrive which meant that they also consumed the rations that should have fed them during the campaign. The Venetians used these shortfalls to get the crusaders, who were fast running out of money and food, to sack a Venetian trading competitor (the city of Zara in present-day Croatia), a Catholic city, hence the prompt excommunication by the Pope. The crusaders were then joined by a wannabe Byzantine emperor who told them that he'd happily fix their money and food problems if they put him on the throne after various shenanigans he was installed in Constantinople, couldn't deliver, was toppled, and the crusaders (and Venice) then decided to solve their financial shortfall once and for all by besieging and sacking Constantinople (probably with the backup plan that the installation of a Latin regime would somewhat mollify the Pope). Sure, the sack doesn't seem to have been planned from the beginning of the outset, but the sack of Zara before the crusade had even left the Adriatic did not bide well for the rest of the campaign. The Venetians come off as especially shady, but the willingness of the (other) crusaders to go along with these, from a perspective which posits the Muslims as the primary adversary, harebrained and short-sighted schemes doesn't paint them as poor misled Christian warriors either. Even more starkly, having plundered Constantinople, the crusade didn't use the newly acquired wealth to mount an offensive towards Jerusalem, but simply fell apart with most crusaders heading home with their ill-gotten gains, some of which were presented to the Pope who apparently had no problem accepting them, despite their unsavoury provenance. ScepticWombat (talk) 20:18, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Christology in Africa[edit]

Back to nitpicking. So let’s look at this: "Is Andy trying to categorise? Too late, mate. The discussion of religion is short and pithy, and rapidly disappears in a Schlafly Sermon on the status of women - which, predictably, he cocks up. The issue of the divinity of Christ dividing European and African Christians is frankly ridiculous. Andy is referring to Nestorian Christianity, an early sub-sect stamped out in the days of the Roman Empire. It had nothing to do with Africa." This was written in reference to Andy stating that the African and European Christians didn't agree about the nature of Christ. So overall I don't really have a problem with Ironclad’s work here. Christological discussions/disputes have always sounded ridiculous to me, granted I'm a Jew and I guess I would find them ridiculous. However Ironclad does make a factual error, and also should have elaborated more on what Andy was talking about (assuming Andy actually knew what he was talking about, which is doubtful). So let's discuss two different things. First let's talk about Christology. So I have met western Christians who are not really as familiar with this topic as they should be. So first let’s look at a bunch of Churches, the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Catholic Churches, the Eastern Orthodox Churches (including Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, etc...), the Oriental Orthodox Churches (meaning the Syriac Orthodox Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Coptic Orthodox Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and Armenian Apostolic Church), and the "Nestorian" Church (formally called the Assyrian Church of the East). Now while the Roman Catholic Church (and the uniate Eastern Catholic Churches) and the Eastern Orthodox Church have differences they are both regarded as belonging to "Chalcedonian" Christianity meaning that they accept the Chalcedonian DefinitionWikipedia of Christ's divinity. The vast majority of Protestant Churches are also regarded as belonging to "Chalcedonian" Christianity because almost all of them (probably by virtue of having arisen in the west) also accept the Chalcedonian Definition. In contrast to Chalcedonian Christians there also exist "non-Chalcedonian" Christians who think that the Chalcedonian Definition is nonsense. The Assyrian Church of the East is one such "non-Chalcedonian' Church; it is often called "Nestorian" because unlike most modern Christians they have a high opinion of Nestorias as a person, but strictly speaking they are not Nestorians, they are Dyophysites meaning that they believe that there are two separate natures, human and divine, that exist in the person of Christ. That Christological position is contrasted with the polar opposite position on the Christological scale which is held by the "Oriental Orthodox" churches. There are far more adherents to those Churches nowadays than there are adherents to the Assyrian Church of the East so talking about their theology is slightly more important. They do not accept the Chalcedonian definition and insist that Christ's divinity and humanity are united in their nature and without separation. The council at which the Church of the East was excommunicated was the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD (it makes sense to use "AD" in this particular context, btw) the "Oriental Orthodox" Churches were excommunicated at the Council of Chalcedon twenty years later in 451 AD (the Nestorians were also condemned at that council again, just for good measure). This is important because the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is an "Oriental Orthodox" Church (meaning that they believe that the Chalcedonian Definition is heresy), hence Andy's little side comment about the Christological differences between pre-colonial (East) African Christians and Western European Christians. Despite the Christological difference the Ethiopians and the early colonialists, in this case the Portuguese, were more than willing to cooperate with each other. A great example of that cooperation can be seen during the Abyssinian-Adal warWikipedia in which the Portuguese Christovao da Gama, aided the Ethiopians in defeating an invading army from the Adal Sultanate (led by Ahmad Gragn) which was backed by the Ottoman Empire (in this case it was also the Muslims who were the instigators of the conflict, so this story could have been rather useful to Andy if he knew it). But in any case implying that all African Christians have theological differences with western Christians is absurd in the modern era and saying that they did back during late antiquity is also problematic since the Christians (minus the Donatists) in North Africa agreed with the Church of Rome on almost everything. So Andy’s comments about “African Christians” in the context of theology and history are indeed absurdly broad and confusing (just as we have come to expect from him). However since I hold Ironclad to a higher standard than Mr. Schlafly I think it would have been beneficial for Ironclad to explain why Andy’s comments are both misplaced and inadequate. Alsto003 (talk) 01:13, 6 June 2015 (UTC) Alex

To be even more precise, Andy and Ironclad between them conflate the so-called monophysitismWikipedia} and miaphysitismWikipedia versions Christology. Also, to be precise, it was Nestorius and his followers who were excommunicated at Edessa, not the Church of the East (seeing as no such institution existed at the time). Sure, many of the Eastern Orthodox churches reject Chalcedon, but Alsto pointed out they strenuously deny the label "Nestorian" (again, they're miaphysites, not monophysites).
As an aside, when it comes to the AD/BC vs. CE/BCE dispute I'm firmly in former camp (despite being an atheist) for three reasons. Firstly, there is nothing "common" about CE and secondly, claiming that it is "common" suggests that Christianity is somehow the "common" religion. The third and final reason is that I loathe this kind of euphemistic language and that it essentially disguises why this chronology became the global standard (basically European imperialism and its "scientific standardisation", similar to time zones being

placed in relation to Greenwich/GMT). ScepticWombat (talk) 06:46, 6 June 2015 (UTC)