Thursday, October 08, 2015

Podcast of the week: What is past is prologue

New Books webpage has interviews about new books (I listen to the ones on history). List of recent interviews HERE.

This week's book is 1177BC the year the world ended.

the sea peoples on the move, earthquake storm, climate change, or all of the above?

One of history's great mysteries.

and when listening to one of Professor Bulliet's lectures on world history he mentions that during the medieval warm period, there was snow in Baghdad. So possibly Iraq and Persia were partially  depopulated by the time that Genghis Khan came through.

Brian Fagan's book on the Great warming probably discusses this, but I'm still working through on the book Elixir, on Scribd...

A lot of these Bronze age civilizations relied on dams... as do many countries today....drought made the dams low (like what happens here resulting in brownouts) and then nomads fleeing drought in the steppes invade, and destroy the dams/channels...again and again.

Professor TeofiloRuiz lectures  at UCLA are now locked, but I downloaded them before this was done...his history on Medieval Spain point this out, that when the north conquered southern Spain, and many fled, that the depopulated area was filled with northern peasants who didn't know how to run irrigation so it collapsed. So the next time, they encouraged the peasants to stay, with all sorts of guarantees.

What is past is prologue, and as StrategyPage points out such as in their book How To Make War, often history points to what will happen in the future. LINK

ISIL espouses an “end of days” doctrine (every religion has one) in which the faithful must mobilize and convert the entire world to Islam so that ultimate purpose of Islam (world domination) can be achieved. The Shia have their own (less devastating) version with Shia in charge. The Sunni have the edge in numbers, as over 80 percent of Moslems are Sunni. But in the Middle East the Shia have an advantage as this is where most Shia live and the Shia are led by Iran. That’s important because for thousands of years the more enterprising and inventive Iranians have been the regional superpower. The Arabs know that, the Iranians know that and some other former superpowers in the area (like Russia and Turkey) know that as well. Everyone should not forget that.

So ISIS killing Christians is not a big story in the news, says GetReligion, and perhaps Russia and other orthodox news sources are better at telling what is going on than what you are reading. Take this WAPO discussion of Russia bombing Syrian ISIS rebels.

Cold war? Check. Nasty anti gay war loving fundies in Orthodoxy. Check. The WAPO "history" goes all the way back to Catherine the Great, and they seem to think Kiev is in the Crimea:

 As WorldViews discussed earlier, Crimea is where, in the 10th century, one of the first great Slavic princes is said to have shed his pagan beliefs for the Orthodox Christianity of the Byzantine Empire. I
Attention WAPO: Wikipedia is your friend.

What about the traditional Russian protection of other orthodox from the Turks in Serbia? The long history of the massacres by Genghis Khan or the Golden hoarde, or of the Slave trade that preyed on Slavic Christians that lasted for millenia but is rarely discussed except in passing? The implications for Chechnya, where Russia put down fundamentalist uprising with lots of deaths there, and terrorist attacks on Russians in retaliation ( the Belsen school massacre anyone?)

Maybe the Russkis have a reason to oppose aggressive Islam in history, but you won't find it explained to you in the WAPO...

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