Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ancient Battlefields

The Moor Next Door describes Middle Eastern superpower politics in an age before the coming of Islam, featuring the Christianized Arab for Byzantium -- "our most pious and Christ-loving kings" -- versus the vassals of the Shah. Nearly everything has changed. The names of the superpowers, the religions of the contenders, what they fought over, the respective roles of defender and attacker, the settled and nomad. All that is roughly recognizable today are the nations. I suppose an archaeologist picking over the battlefields, finding an arrowhead here and a sword shard there must ask himself: what did they strive for? For what did they live?

9 Comments:

Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Today we see the same tribalism, largely unchanged in 2000 years, or really longer than that. Murder, beheadings, violence and agression for the purpose of stealing their neighbor's lands seems unchanged.

Today's Arabs/Muslims have no interest in pre-islamic history. The Saudis, for instance, totally suppress any archeology within their borders that may unearth any pre-islamic history.

5/15/2007 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

re: what did they strive for? For what did they live?

Self-aggrandizing idolatry

Abram and his progeny were not hated primarily because they were iconoclasts; they were hated because they were atheists. The symbol was not the evil, but the vanity of the man in whose name it was made. Pagan ritual insists that the G-d who created the universe by a word had need of the embalmer’s art and/or the artisan’s chisel.

Ramses

Ramses

Shelley


***

5/15/2007 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Interesting young blogger. Dual Algerian/American citizenship, secular Muslim with some Shia and Sufi ancestors, Mother a Quaker, includes Berber, Arab, Turk, Lebanese lineage.
From his profile, "Nouri" appears to be 18-19, and at Yale.
(I never liked dual citizenship, though, in principle. Be it Jew or Arab, it tempts dual loyalty issues.)

Good history on the post-Ptolemy era in the ME. How the past conflicts between Byzantines, the Arab kingdoms, the Sassanids helped weaken the Iranians in particular and set the stage for the Muslim humbling of the Byzantines at Yarduk, and the miracle Islamic conquest of Persia.

5/15/2007 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

In other words:
"Look upon my works, ye mighty and despair"

Okay .... What works? Don't see any.

Surely it must upset some Arabs to look at the pyramids and realize they do not have their act together well enough to build them today.

5/16/2007 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger Starling said...

RWE said: "Surely it must upset some Arabs to look at the pyramids and realize they do not have their act together well enough to build them today."

It does upset some. And it spurs others to action. Here is one example of some steps being taken, one with which it is my privilege to have an immediate, professional association.

QSTP

You might find it amusing to know that this research park is about 5 kilometers up the road from the studios of al-Jazeera.

5/16/2007 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

C4 (I never liked dual citizenship, though, in principle. Be it Jew or Arab, it tempts dual loyalty issues.)


What about other nationalities?

or just arabs and jews that concern you?

Amazing even when Jews are not mentioned that stick up your ass pokes thru...

Might i suggest a GOOD enema to remove that stick C4? Your SO Jew obessed your otherwise decent points get flushed down the tube due to your bias...

5/16/2007 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Czarsimba said...

Il Duce Pelosi

After losing a string of embarrassing votes on the House floor because of procedural maneuvering, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has decided to change the current House Rules to completely shut down the floor to the minority.

The Democratic Leadership is threatening to change the current House Rules regarding the Republican right to the Motion to Recommit or the test of germaneness on the motion to recommit. This would be the first change to the germaneness rule since 1822.

In protest, the House Republicans are going to call procedural motions every half hour

5/16/2007 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Czarsimba said...

Doug, I'm sorry, I know you must be in pain.

Stanley Holden, 79, a Dancer and Prominent Ballet Teacher, Is Dead



Stanley Holden, whose Chaplinesque blend of wistfulness and wit made him one of the finest character dancers in Britain’s Royal Ballet before he settled in Los Angeles and became one of the area’s most popular ballet teachers, died on Friday in Thousand Oaks, Calif. He was 79.

5/16/2007 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger weswinger said...

One of the great ironies of history is that the Byzantine emporers could have easily defended Jerusalem, and driven the Mohammeden hordes back into Arabia, if they could have removed their heads from their asses. Been less Byzantine, in other words. They believed that their new city was the holy city, blessed by the Blessed Virgin Mary, and put little importance on the land where God had lived as a human, preached, suffered and died.

To be more charitable, the Persian threat in the east and the Barbarian threat in the Balkans preoccupied them.

5/16/2007 02:43:00 PM  

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