>...It deals with how the Irish monks preserved many of the great works of
the Romans and Greeks while the rest of Europe was going >through the Dark
Ages (ca. 400 - 700 C.E.).
Not a flame, honest, but isn't the term "early middle ages" more meaningful
than "dark ages"? The latter implies that Roman originated culture was
somehow superior to the Celtic, Germanic and various neolithic cultures it
replaced and preceded. As Celts and Celtic-oriented people - ie those
interested in and part of a cultural continuum reaching from well before
Roman & Greek times to the present day - this period should surely be seen
as just part of a whole rather than an intermission in the progress of the
Romano-Hellenic style of doing things.
This isn't about political corectness but about expressing a different
(within the trans-Atlantic "cultural" splodge) point of view, and one
supported by almost all scholars of the period.
"Dark Ages" was a term created by those who saw Romano-Hellenic culture,
language, philosophy and science and the rediscovered form of these
developed during the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance as true civilisation.
We have a broader & deeper perspective now in many ways than they about the
other European cultures and as a result have a different perspective on
their value (as evidenced by our membership of CELTIC-L if nothing else).
This period was in many ways not a time of stagnation but of resurgence. The
fall of the Roman empire allowed its successors & former colonials to assert
their own cultures and absorb Roman influences on their own terms.
I dunno, maybe some people will feel I'm getting uptight about nothing, but
cultural imperialism works more effectively through small things like this,
calling the Great Hunger the Irish Famine, using the term "mainland
Britain", and so on than it does through big things like banning a
language's use for example. Big things are easily identified & targeted, but
small things shape the general perspective we have towards our culture and
the importance of the mass-media/ superstate "culture" in shaping our lives.
Everyone has something special that makes them different and interesting.
Our Celtic cultures and social structures, our languages, mythologies,
songs, ways of saying "hello" - everything - make us different in a way.
These are special and require nurturing. Would this be such an interesting
group if it was all about dead cultures rather than living ones we can all
share in and enjoy?
I would love to hear from anyone with a view on this, pro- or anti-.
Sla/n, a chairde,
Stiofa/n mac Amhalgaidh,
"I am what I am" - Popeye.
"Very well then", said the Little Red Hen, "I'll do it myself". And she did.