By Peter Rietbergen
This significant contribution to the belief of Europe sweeps the continent from its Celtic and German origins during the impression of the Greeks and Romans to the fruitful--and occasionally bloody--contacts with different cultures. Peter Rietbergen portrays Europe's background as a sequence of 4 grand levels of continuity and alter set within the context of political, social and fiscal advancements. those levels are new different types of: surviving; believing; taking a look at guy and the realm; and intake and verbal exchange. Rietbergen's descriptions are supported by way of a variety of illuminating excerpts reminiscent of: Chaucer's description of London in 1378; Michelangelo on Italian artwork; and renowned song lyrics of Iron Maiden and Sting.
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Extra resources for Europe: A Cultural History
In an early period, war erupted between the interior and coastal regions and a number of the Jewish tribes united under kings anointed by priests in Yahweh’s name. A new kingdom thus came into being, gaining a governmental, ceremonial and religious centre when King David conquered Jerusalem in about 990 BC. There, Yahweh was worshipped in a splendid temple built by David’s son and successor, Solomon. However, tensions quickly surfaced. On the one hand, the ‘modern’ kings with their power politics, aided by the cast of priests, strove for centralization and, moreover, sometimes sought support from gods other than the unseen Yahweh.
However, not only the ‘fertile crescent’— Europe: A cultural history 10 the area of the Euphrates, the Tigris and the coast of the Levant—but also the river valleys of mainland Greece were frequently the target of successful attacks or outright invasions. 2200 BC, such tribes from Central Asia settled on the mainland around the Aegean. They spoke an Indo-European language from which Greek later developed. But the invasion by these ‘Greeks’ was only part of a process that occurred continuously on the Eurasian land mass, resulting in intermittent crises when older societies were uprooted by these invaders.
Democracy and its limitations in Greece In the mean time, in Greece the Mycenaean and Cretan civilizations had disappeared. New Judo-European, so-called Dorian, tribes settled there between 1200 and 800 BC. 33 This new society was concentrated around military leaders, local ‘rulers’ who, however, were more like rustic gentleman farmers than the splendid kings of old who had lived a refined palace culture in large cities. Writing mostly disappeared and bards became the bearers and transmitters of a largely oral tradition, singing the praises of their heroic ancestors in epic poems.
Europe: A Cultural History by Peter Rietbergen