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43

"History is written by victors" may itself be an example of history written by the losers! While the quote is commonly misattributed to Winston Churchill, it's origins are unknown and it might be inspired by Hermann Göring's quote: We will go down in history either as the world's greatest statesmen or its worst villains. On a (perhaps) more serious ...


25

All the bad press given to Vikings (and the like) by angry monks suggests not always. Depends if the victors build a tradition of literacy and of documenting history or whether they just go build more longboats and get drunk.


13

An important example from ancient history is the Peloponnesian war. The most important account of it comes from Thucydides, "the father of history". Thucidydes was an Athenian, and Athens lost the war. I am not aware of any Spartan accounts of this was that survived.


10

I think there are these reasons: Around the time of its decline, Chinese philosophy was quasi-religious, and exclusionary. That is, Mohism was actively suppressed by regimes that adopted other philosophies, such as Confucianism. Some of its doctrines became obsolete Some of its doctrines were absorbed by the other philosophies Exclusion Mohism arose ...


8

Theory of history is so closely related to "historiography" or the practice of writing and criticising history that we may as well consider them to be basically coaligned. Therefore you will want to read EH Carr's "What is History?" and a textbook aimed at honours / post-graduate coursework students on historiography. Ranke started modern history with the ...


8

It was clearly a remarkable period for English scientific thought, but historians of science bicker about why. One very good reason might be the work of Sir Francis Bacon, essentialy the founding father of British 'natural philosophy. By the 1640's he had followers, described by Robert Boyle as the 'invisible college', which may refer to a group of early ...


7

The subdivisions of heaven and the theme of a vision of an ascent to heaven originate from Jewish mysticism. Different parts of the Talmud come from different times, but this idea is very old. During the 5th century BCE, when the works of the Tanakh were edited and canonised and the secret knowledge encrypted within the various writings and scrolls ...


7

It is a long and complicated story, but a very brief outline is the following. Copernicus book was published in 1543. For about 70 years after that the Church did not express any "official opinion" on it. The book was discussed by several writers, some supported and others criticized the theory, as it usually happens with scientific theories. The church did ...


7

Ptolemy da Lucca (c. 1236 – c. 1327), also known as Bartholomew of Lucca, Tolomeo da Lucca, and Tolomeo Fiadoni is considered today an advocate of republicanism, mainly from his contributions to Thomas Aquinas' De Regimine Principum (On the Government of Rulers), which he completed after Auquinas death (1274). Ptolemy's main influences were Aristotle's ...


6

The Arab-Israeli conflict. The Arabs lost to Israel in 4 wars (1948, 1967, 1973, 1982) but their version of history is the most accepted today (even the universal acceptance of the term "palestinian people"). Thus Israelis are portrayed a "colonizers", Zionism was portrayed as racism in the UN, and Israel as an apartheid state. This while Israel is the ...


5

There are branches in philosophy and sociology of science that talk about Mode 1 vs. Mode 2 of scientific production. Mode 1 is the "classic" form of research, perfomed mostly in academia and driven by a linear improve-the-state-of-knowledge mentality that science has defined as its ethos for the last couple of centuries. Wikipedia defines it as: ...


5

Looks like you've rediscovered Jaspers's concept of the Axial Age. However, if I understand correctly he did not posit that the Chinese and Western cultures influenced each other, but rather that they arose simultaneously under similar circumstances. Nevertheless, this might be a good starting point to explore from.


5

First of all I want to point out that Christianization did not bring any improvements in moral standards at the time. Conversely, the moral was gradually degrading whether due or not the advent of Christianity. Ancient Rome had possibly the most extensive legislation on social care and charity at the time, which included orphanages, pensions, alimentary ...


5

Ancient literature was not widely known and not read before Petrarch's time. He had a luck of discovering Cicero's letters. Apparently he personally discovered them in some storage. He read them and was excited. That this was Cicero, not someone else seems to be an accident. (Perhaps he would be even more excited is he discovered Caesar's works). This ...


4

Yes, there were some, more than one and surely more than we know. These known ones were from times about 6 centuries before Christ. Scriptures of Buddhism were not less revolutionary. Buddha is considered as a teacher of people and gods. Christ had never reached so far. Avesta of Zarathustra was the first documented teaching of kindness. Even in the ...


4

There probably were limited contacts between the Greeks and the Chinese, as the Hellenistic Greco-Bactrian Kingdom (250 - 125 BC) expanded in the Tarim Basin in northwest China. Strabo (64/63 BC – ca. 24 AD), quoting Apollodorus of Artemita (c. 130–87 BCE), mentions: As for Bactria, a part of it lies alongside Aria towards the north, though most of it ...


4

I am reading Andrew Weatcroft's's The Enemy at the Gate: Habsburg, Ottomans, and the Battle for Europe (see also here). It contains this relevant statement in relation to a (from some perspective) loosing party rewriting history: Of course, once the great [Ottoman attack on Vienna in 1683] failed, history was rewritten and the sultan portrayed as ...


4

There is no mention in any Greek source of Plato travelling to India, or to any place in Asia. He did however sail to Sicily.


4

Has its accuracy changed since? North Vietnam won over South Vietnam. Taliban won over Northern Alliance prior to US getting involved in 2001 Hezbollah effectively won against everyone (forced Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, and squeezed 'liberals' out of Lebanese politics). Depending on your definition of liberal, theorcats won in Iran in 1979. ...


3

Its an interesting thesis. The problem is that "important" out he left himself essentially makes it a No true Scottsman argument. In other words, it isn't really a falsifiable statement. Any counter-argument I could possibly make can be dismissed as "not really an important war" (or failing that, you could try to argue against the liberality/fanacisim of the ...


3

I don't know yet, but there is some indirect evidence that an Indian Yogi met Socrates. Travelling far and wide was not uncommon. Shankaracharya travelled all over India on foot. So did Ramanuja. Fa hien and Hiuen Tsang travelled to India, crossing the Himalayas.


3

Some academics have studied this issue. The very popular theory today concerning it is the Strauss-Howe Generational Theory or the Four Turnings, which I believe only applies to US history. They created this theory to try to help some of the problems which will occur, since we can expect them. Strauss and Howe lay the groundwork for the theory in their ...


3

The entire Bible is pretty much written by the losers of history, written from the perspective of the Hebrew slaves, the prophets, and the exiles, rather than the Pharaoh, the king, and the conquerors, respectively. Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, the Greeks, and the Romans all have their empires, but the perspective is taken from a particular people who ...


3

I cannot think of any examples in mediaeval Western Europe. However, the Persian philosopher Muḥammad ibn Zakariyā ar-Rāzī (died 925) taught that all religions (Christianity, Islam etc.) were taught by false prophets who received their revelations from evil spirits. The Greek philosopher Georgios Gemistos Plethon (died ca. 1452) wanted to abolish ...


3

Certainly, social and economic conditions in England are responsible for this. Wikipedia says this shortly: By the early 17th century, England was a centralized state, in which much of the feudal order of Medieval Europe had been swept away. (the article Capitalism). Similar process went on in Holland, Germany and France, but Germany was not a ...


2

Actually, I'd say there's a pretty good chance you are misinterpreting some of these things. For instance, "Turn the other cheek" is often misinterpreted by modern people. It really should be known as "Turn the left cheek". It isn't about "humanitarianism" at all, but rather dealing with an oppressor. See the accepted answer for When do we as Christians draw ...


2

Wiki says he professed himself to be a Protestant. Do you have reason to doubt this? And why would the only alternative to a Calvinist Protestant be for him to be an atheist, when there were many other Christian sects and denominations?


2

Howard Zinn, in his A People's History of the United States, claimed to be endevoring to do something quite similar to that. If you are interested in USA history, I highly reccomend it for two reasons. The first is that many others with that same interest will be familiar with it, so you can at least hold your own in conversations. The other is that it ...


2

Here are some other examples: The US Civil War. Much of the history was driven by the South's need to justify itself especially after the first 20 years up to about 1960 or so. The Fall of the Roman Republic Virtually all of the surviving histories were written by the conservative factions of Rome and not by the Caesarian side. Augustus didn't mind that ...



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