Chapter VII - Chapter VII: The Death of Civilization...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter VII: The Death of Civilization Thesis: A) A Vanishing Population a. In addition to the decline in production of material goods, there may have been a decline in food production i. Sparse population evidence pg. 139 ii. Figure shows the lack of settlements b. The reliance of remains of items as proof of population density is unreliable i. Wooden houses do not last ii. Yeavering vs. Bradley Hill in Somerset c. Increase food production during the Roman era was supported by specialization i. Specialization of crops in fertile regions ii. Excess crops could be converted to coins iii. Investment in agriculture (irrigation, dams etc...) pg. 144 iv. Cattle size decreased due to lack of good pasture and winter fodder B) Greater Sophistication, or Greater Exploitation? a. The Roman period was not an era of exploitation but rather an overall improvement in standard of living for many social classes i. Pottery was available to many classes ii. Tribute may have been paid in different forms not only coins b. Not everyone enjoyed the prosperity that defined the Roman period i. Slaves were forced to mine and build great Roman buildings ii. Newborns out of wed lock abandoned iii. Newborns abandoned due to lack of parents ability iv. Edessa in Mesopotamia suffered due to locusts infestation C) Suitable Homes for Saints a. Churches and religious buildings saw a steep decline in quality and size i. Old St. Peter's of the Roman empire ii. Post-Roman buildings were small in comparison iii. Pope John VII of the Post-Roman era was proud of a small building iv. San Pedro de la Nave near Zamora pg. 150 b. The rich did not change their choices in spending but rather met a decline i. There are references to prove the presence of elaborate jewelry spent on by the rich ii. Rich Romans also spent on textiles and elaborate buildings iii. All of which decline in post-roman era D) `Here Phoebus the perfume-seller had a really good fuck': The Use of Writing in Roman Times a. Writing and literacy was fairly common amongst various classes of Roman Empire i. Inscription on brothel ii. Pompeii and 11,000 inscriptions iii. Use of Graffiti iv. Writing was used in mockery v. Use of styluses was dispersed and common amongst various classes vi. Roman army new how to write vii. Officers and officials of vindolanda pg. 157 viii. Lucius Antonius, Fulvia, and Octavian sling-bolts ix. 4,000 small seals found at Saone at Lyons x. Use of receipts by merchants required literacy xi. Rich, influential Pompeian couple depiction xii. Procopius mocked Justin I in 518 the uneducated emperor E) `Turo the pilgrim, may you live forever in God': Early Medieval Literacy a. Reading and writing did not all together disappear in the Post-Roman era i. "law code of mid-seventh-century king of Lombard Italy, Rothari ii. Scratched tablets of prayers, psalms etc..pg. 165 iii. Estate articles Salamanca b. Some forms of literacy that was wide spread in Roman empire disappeared i. Stamps, seals and inscriptions disappeared ii. Military lacked evidence of literacy iii. Lack of graffiti c. There was a gradual decline in the spread of literacy in the post-roman empire i. Clergy was mostly literate ii. Charter signing was mostly by clergy others marked their signature iii. Charlemagne attempted to be literate F) Was this the End of Civilization? a. Civilization used in this book is characterized by complexity of a society and thus according to definition used by author this was end of civilization i. Decline in pottery and many other evidences used prior ii. Decline literacy iii. Decline buildings Chapter VIII: All For The Best In The Best Of All Possible Worlds? Thesis: A) The Home of Late Antiquity a. The contemporary view of transformation and accommodation is shared by most of North America and Europe but in Italy the view of a violent barbarian invasion is still predominant the cause of which is due to the shift of emphasis to a spiritual aspect of era i. American Guide to Late Antiquity lack entries for Franks, Visigoths, Britons and Anglo-Saxons ii. Emphasis on Christian and Islam domination of era iii. Christopher Dawson : "Age of Faith", "Age of Monks" pg. 172 B) The Euro-Barbarian a. "The way we view our own world and the way we interpret the past" are connected and related to each other i. Germany and Nazi aftermath lead to world's view of a violent barbarian invasion ii. Eileen Power wrote about Fall of Empire iii. Andre, Pigniol and Pierre Courcelle wrote books about Fall of the West following invasion by Germans in 1940 of France iv. 60's and 70's saw a mellowing of German images and the release of Goffart's theory v. European Union had motives to encourage union vi. European Science Foundation project called " The Transformation of the Roman World vii. Mussolini used Roman power for "national and imperial agenda" and the view of transformation was convenient C) A `Late Antiquity' for a New Age a. The concept of empire has a negative meaning in modern world and as such is erroneous i. The `Empire' in star wars ii. Roman empire brought comfort and complexity b. There is a growing loss in emphasis put on the Roman Empire and the elevation of other `cultures' i. British curriculum equate Egyptians and Romans ii. Tenth planet takes Inuit goddess name iii. Economy is death to an oxford course title D) Pluses... a. There was some accommodation and transformation, however, the Empire did fall i. Some level of accommodation and alliances ii. Many evidence for devastating invasion by Germanic tribes E) ... and Minuses a. Words with negative implications such as decline should not be avoided though should be used with caution as does the word rise i. Some historian used `rise' too liberally ii. Decline and other negative words are all together avoided iii. Blame is avoided ...
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