• Athena
    3k
    When Rome fell the Biblical story of creation remained. Some call this period the Dark Ages. What changed the direction Europe was going?

    I am hoping we might discuss what Scholasticism had to do with the change.

    Scholasticism was a medieval school of philosophy that employed a critical organic method of philosophical analysis predicated upon the Aristotelian 10 Categories. Christian scholasticism emerged within the monastic schools that translated scholastic Judeo-Islamic philosophies, and thereby "rediscovered" the collected works of Aristotle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholasticism
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    Scholasticism was the syncretism of ancient thought with Christian theology, it bloomed when the Latin west recovered ancient texts that were well-known in the Greek east but not in the west, adding later the Judeo-Islamic knowledge that comes when the Christians take Iberia back.
    This was all centuries after West Rome came apart, and what does Genesis have to do with it?
    The thread doesn't have a clear topic.
  • Sir2u
    3.3k
    When Rome fell the Biblical story of creation remained. Some call this period the Dark Ages. What changed the direction Europe was going?Athena

    The story of creation was not actually a christian idea, it came from African tribes and was already ancient when the christians adopted it.

    The western part of the Roman empire was broken down into many little kingdoms that over centuries became larger with only one king and developed the feudal system of government.
    Christianity expanded and became the major religion in western Europe and separated for the Orthodox church in the east.

    Over the centuries both the church and the lords eventually became so corrupt that the peasants revolted against both.

    During the Early and High Middle ages, most advancements came about through the inventiveness of the peasants, better farming methods and tool technology, the use of wind and water power.

    The Late Middle Ages was when the started to re-discover the ideas of the ancient Greeks and that started the renaissance.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    The story of creation was not actually a christian ideaSir2u

    He says "Biblical story of creation", not that the story of creation was invented by Christians. Obviously not, since Genesis is in the Torah.

    it came from African tribes and was already ancient when the christians adopted itSir2u

    Source? Businessinsider articles don't count.
  • Sir2u
    3.3k
    He says "Biblical story of creation", not that the story of creation was invented by Christians. Obviously not, since Genesis is in the Torah.Lionino

    My mistake, we were talking about the middle ages which were christian and most bibles contain the old testament.

    Source? Businessinsider articles don't count.Lionino

    This is an Asian myth
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_creation_narrative

    There are many creation stories from Africa that have parts similar to the bible. This one contains an all knowing, all seeing god and a snake giving sex ed classes.

    https://www.gateway-africa.com/stories/Ashanti_on_procreation.html

    This one has gods making people out of clay and a flood

    https://www.gateway-africa.com/stories/Yoruba_Creation_Myth.html
  • Tzeentch
    3.4k
    Some call this period the Dark Ages. What changed the direction Europe was going?Athena

    When Rome fell, Europe was first sacked and then taken over by barbarians tribes that eventually settled and became the inheritors of the civilization.

    Near the tail end of this process, the Viking age started, which roughly coincided with the creation of Islam which posed yet another round of grave threats to Europe from nearly every direction.

    It is only around the 11th and12th century that the aforementioned inheritors manage to stabilize the situation and European society could start to flourish again.

    But before it truly could, the bubonic plague and the Mongol invasions started.

    All in all, it's not so strange Europe entered a Dark Age.
  • Ciceronianus
    3k


    Not much, I think.
    I am hoping we might discuss what Scholasticism had to do with the change.Athena

    It isn't clear to me it had anything to do with it, if I understand your question correctly. Are you asking whether the rediscovery of the works of Aristotle and other ancient thinkers by monks influenced the change?
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    None of that proves that the Hebrew creation myth comes from Africa.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2k


    Well first, the Hebrews as an Asian people, so obviously it is defacto an Asian creation narrative. There are certainly similarities between Genesis and Sumerian and Babylonian creation narratives, but as minds like Jung and Joseph Campbell, or the perrenialists have shown, you can make a case for "great similarity" between essentially all such narratives.

    The ideas in Genesis are indeed very old and predate the Hebrew language. Verses from Numbers have been found in a sort of proto-Hebraic, while a version of the Ark story is among the oldest pieces of writing that have ever been recovered.

    However, it is impossible to say that African versions of this story are the originals. There is no written material coming out of SSA that is as old as the Mesopotamian sources. The Yeruba people didn't emerge until millennia later and the Asante are a good deal later than them. It is certainly possible that these stories preexist the split off of these (relatively) new ethnic groups, but wouldn't it be more plausible that they made it down from Egypt, which has had extensive trade networks moving down into SSA and a large Jewish population since antiquity? We know Christianity had taken root in Ethiopia centuries before the earliest of those two groups emerged.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    However, it is impossible to say that African versions of this story are the originals. There is no written material coming out of SSA that is as old as the Mesopotamian sources. The Yeruba people didn't emerge until millennia later and the Asante are a good deal later than them.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Or that.

    A direct refutation of the idea is that such a hypothesis can only be supported by finding two groups in Africa whose religious myths are related and there are common elements between them and Hebrew mythology, and these two groups being isolated from each other by several tens of thousands of year. The way that these similarities between religions cannot be chalked up to coincidence or recently areal contact instead of actually coming from a common source is by establishing a proto-language between the two groups. Unfortunately, the oldest proto-language is Proto-Afro-Asiatic, which is not even 20k years old, and it is not quite sub-Saharan.
    Even if such a fact could be established in comparative religion, they are still a distinct group from Eurasians, and the fact that the myths around the world have little in common with each other would not allow us to say with confidence that the connection between Hebrew and those African tribes is in fact from a common source instead of something that died out in the Eurasian branch and then developed independently again among the Canaanites.
  • Outlander
    1.9k
    the oldest discovered, and possibly due to the destructive sands of time, discoverable proto-language is Proto-Afro-AsiaticLionino

    :up:

    We learn new things about those before us near every day. Sadly, or perhaps not, some things will remain lost to the ages.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    Proto-languages are human inventions, so the oldest one is the oldest one.
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    What changed the direction Europe was going?Athena
    IIRC, there was no "Europe" until Charlemagne's reign. Several centuries later, in the wake of "the Black Death", my guess is Magna Carta (proto-republicanism) + plundering the Americas, etc + "The Renaissance" gave Europe its modern direction.
  • Sir2u
    3.3k
    None of that proves that the Hebrew creation myth comes from Africa.Lionino

    However, it is impossible to say that African versions of this story are the originals. There is no written material coming out of SSA that is as old as the Mesopotamian sources. The Yeruba people didn't emerge until millennia later and the Asante are a good deal later than them.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Nothing proves that the Hebrew creation myth is anything more than a story made up by a bunch of old men with nothing better to do while waiting for an animal to fall into a trap.
    But there are a few old African stories, possibly including that of the Yoruba, that were passed by word of mouth from generation to generation well before the Jews existed and contain elements of the creation story related in the bible. We only know about them from when they were made contact with so we have no idea how old their stories are.

    Maybe they did copy some ideas from the Egyptians, but I cannot imagine that the old wise men would take kindly to changes being made in the centuries or millennium years old chants that had had to be recited for years to be remembered. Adding a new beginning to oral history I think would tend to screw things up a bit.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    there was no "Europe" until Charlemagne's reign180 Proof

    The landmass was already called Europe since ancient times.

    Nothing proves that the Hebrew creation myth is anything more than a story made up by a bunch of old men with nothing better to do while waiting for an animal to fall into a trap.Sir2u

    Well we didn't say anything about that did we.

    But there are a few old African stories, possibly including that of the Yoruba, that were passed by word of mouth from generation to generation well before the Jews existed and contain elements of the creation story related in the bible.Sir2u

    Like?

    We only know about them from when they were made contact with so we have no idea how old their stories are.Sir2u

    So how do you know they are older than the Jews?

    Maybe they did copy some ideas from the EgyptiansSir2u

    Pretty sure the Yoruba had no contact with the Egyptians.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    Europe and Asia in Ptolemy's Geographia:

    VdX3Ppj.png

    The border he drew seemed to be around the western Russian border.
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.9k
    Nahum Sarna in "Understanding Genesis" traces the Mesopotamian origins of the Hebrew Bible, but where Mesopotamian polytheism is reworked under a monotheistic, non-political, de-mythologized framework. Abraham is from Ur in Mesopotamia ("Ur of the Chaldeans" but the Chaldeans come centuries after Abraham), after all. Mesopotamian civilization is the oldest in the world. But the way the Mesopotamians conceptualized their Gods was also terrifying in comparison to Israelite monotheism.

    Many of these early Genesis stories including the flood can be traced back to Mesopotamia and have parallels in Mesopotamian texts such as Enuma Elish; the land of Palestine doesn't really flood but the region between the Tigris and Euphrates does. Babel describes the Mesopotamian ziggurat. There is similarly a "tree of life" in the Mesopotamian edenic account where the hero searches desperately for eternal life where in the Israelite account the tree receives near zero attention.
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    The landmass was already called Europe since ancient times.Lionino
    And so what's your point?
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    My point is that this is wrong:
    there was no "Europe" until Charlemagne's reign180 Proof

    And the Magna Carta wasn't that relevant for Europe or the world. England at the time was an offshot of French civilisation and wouldn't have significant impact on the world until centuries later.
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    Okay, on both counts we disagree.
  • jkop
    706
    The modern native populations of Europe largely descend from three distinct lineages: Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, descended from populations associated with the Paleolithic Epigravettian culture; Neolithic Early European Farmers who migrated from Anatolia during the Neolithic Revolution 9,000 years ago; and Yamnaya Steppe herders who expanded into Europe from the Pontic–Caspian steppe of Ukraine and southern Russia in the context of Indo-European migrations 5,000 years ago. — https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europe

    The first creation story was probably expressed when languages emerged, say, 350 000 years ago, when it became practically possible to talk about causes and effects.
  • Tobias
    989
    IIRC, there was no "Europe" until Charlemagne's reign. Several centuries later, in the wake of "the Black Death", my guess is Magna Carta (proto-republicanism) + plundering the Americas, etc + "The Renaissance" gave Europe its modern direction.180 Proof

    The funny thing with history is that it creates while it describes. It reconstructs a story that presumably explains why things happened in such and such way, but in fact becomes an integral part of that history and constitutes the its very own object. The landmass may have been called Europe by some guy called Ptolemy, but so what? It is only relevant because we now through our construction of history hold Ptolemy in high regard. When we recount the story of 'Europe' we recount events that presumably sets it apart from other places. Magna Carta might be one, but I reckon other peoples experienced their 'magna carta' moment. It is through featuring in the historical tales of Europe that it had a place.

    I doubt the history of Europe is dissimilar from the history of other places. It is through conquest that 'Europe' became a thing. Not by being a 'thing in itself' but an entity developed, adorned and embellished by Europeans and therefore important since Europeans held sway in huge parts of the world. If anything was important it is the emergence of the scientific method which allowed Western Europeans to develop better weaponry than its enemies, most notably the Ottoman empire. Before that it generally followed developments in the more advanced civilizations of the East. Scholasticism to me is not a candidate for any special status. Islamic and Judaic philosophers were more adapt at it, or at least equal.
  • Sir2u
    3.3k
    So how do you know they are older than the Jews?Lionino

    https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/old-testament-seminary-teacher-manual/introduction-to-the-book-of-genesis?lang=eng


    Who wrote this book?

    Moses is the author of Genesis. Moses was a prophet who was called by God to lead the children of Israel out of bondage from Egypt, through the wilderness, to the promised land of Canaan. Because the events in Genesis occurred before Moses’s time, he did not learn about them firsthand. They were made known to him through revelation (see Moses 1:40; 2:1), and he may also have relied on historical sources available to him (see Abraham 1:31).

    Depending on your beliefs, you might think that an all powerful and knowing god wold actually tell his most important person something like this.
    The only historical sources available to him that were from before his times were oral histories

    I found again the story I was looking for earlier from the Efé Pygmies, it is called the Forbidden Fruit.
    The Efé Pygmies have been shown to be one of the oldest intact cultures on Earth by dNA studies.

    Pretty sure the Yoruba had no contact with the Egyptians.Lionino

    That was in answer to a comment from someone else that suggested that the stories moved out of Egypt along the trade routes.
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    The landmass may have been called Europe by some guy called Ptolemy, but so what? It is only relevant because we now through our construction of history hold Ptolemy in high regard.Tobias
    :up: :up:

    @Lionino

    It is through conquest that 'Europe' became a thing. Not by being a 'thing in itself' but an entity developed, adorned and embellished by ...
    :fire:

    Scholasticism to me is not a candidate for any special status. Islamic and Judaic philosophers were more adapt at it, or at least equal.
    :100:

    @Athena (re: pre-Hebrew Bible antiquity of "Genesis" stories ... :up: )
  • Paine
    2k

    It is always difficult to sort out ancestors but if the matter is to be seen through the establishment and reactions to religious thought, the results of the "Reformation" (not as tidy an idea as often described) is the immediate progenitor of "europe" through the terrible process of the Thirty Years War and the Peace of Westphalia that paused some conflicts for a bit.

    The messy vastness of all that makes me reluctant to pin the tail upon a particular donkey.
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    The Theological Origins of Modernity, Michael Gillespietim wood

    I second that, extremely important book, one I read when I first joined forums and which underlies a lot of what I've been exploring since. There's a good review and synopsis here.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    I found again the story I was looking for earlier from the Efé Pygmies, it is called the Forbidden Fruit.
    The Efé Pygmies have been shown to be one of the oldest intact cultures on Earth by dNA studies.
    Sir2u

    Very cool. I found this website, that says:
    Their mythical story of death begins with the existence of a supreme being who made a man known as Baatsi out of clay, covered him with skin and filled his veins with blood.He later made the woman a man's companion and instructed them to bear children.He forbade them from eating the fruit of the Tahu tree.Baatsi fathered many children, who consequently fathered more children, continuing his lineage.Everyone obeyed the rule, and they lived with so much joy.When they got old and tired, they went happily to heaven.Everything was smooth until a pregnant woman craving the Tahu fruit convinced her husband to give her one.The moon saw the man picking the fruit in the dark and told the creator. He got angered by their actions and punished them with death.https://lughayangu.com/post/the-forbidden-tahu-fruit

    Honestly, I am quite skeptical of how much of this is true, given by how many parallels there are. And if it is true, I would imagine that the story comes from contact with Christian missionaries. I think that because that is exactly the Genesis story. Pygmies and Jews are separated by almost 200 thousand years, and the stories mirror each other so neatly while groups much closer to each other (and to Jews) don't have such similatiries.
    It may seem like I am playing hard to catch but I studied a bit of anthropology and some red flags are being raised for me.

    This website tries to defend that the pygmy story is original https://stellarhousepublishing.com/garden-of-eden-originally-a-pygmy-myth/ but there you see implied that the majority opinion is otherwise. Besides, I can't find any reliable sources beyond blogspot posts online about this topic, the Tahu fruit of the Efé.

    But for one thing, the creation of life from clay is something that appears all over world religions.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    Before that it generally followed developments in the more advanced civilizations of the East.Tobias

    Europe overtook the East starting in Antiquity, it is not a recent thing.

    It is through conquest that 'Europe' became a thing.Tobias

    Thanks for the compliment :strong: :fire:
  • Tobias
    989
    Europe overtook the East starting in Antiquity, it is not a recent thing.Lionino

    And you are basing that claim on what? Between 500 and say 1500 Europe was neither technologically, nor militarily or scientifically more advanced then China, Islamic Egypt, the Ottoman empire, the Mongolian khanate etc. The biggest cities and centers of learning were in the East, i.e. Constantinople, Baghdad, Cairo. In Europe only Italy had something of an urban culture. As far as I know my history, philosophy and sociology of course.

    Thanks for the compliment :strong: :fire:Lionino

    Why is that a compliment? Only if you have some sort of normative commitment to violence being a good thing might this be construed as a compliment.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    Between 500 and say 1500 Europe was neither technologically, nor militarily or scientifically more advanced then China, Islamic Egypt, the Ottoman empire, the Mongolian khanate etc.Tobias

    The Mongolian Empire was more advanced than Eastern Rome and France in the 1300s? I don't think you have any clue what you are saying.

    Why is that a compliment? Only if you have some sort of normative commitment to violence being a good thing might this be construed as a compliment.Tobias

    It is a compliment, unless you want to admit to being a hypocrite, lightly bringing up the Mongol Empire "as more advanced" without any condemnation of Gengis Khan being a mass rapist and his reign killing off almost 20% of the whole population of Eurasia, estimated around 37.75–60 million.
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