Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Edward Gibbon, I read your Book!
Peter Frost has some good arguments as to why Edward Gibbon may have been (God bless the old pagan) partially right in attributing Rome's fall to "Christianity". I think the main point here is that we "Christians" have absorbed a rather vain glorious view of ourselves (necessary as children, shameful in an adult) in which people like Saint Martin of Tours didn't essentially act as an imprudent jerk in abandoning all of Gaul to the barbarians in favor of his monastery. Sulcipius Severus has the whole story, if you want to look it up. Of course, it's hard to judge a man (let alone a saint's) heart, but it does seem like the Christian religion unnecessarily abandoned the legitimate use of the sword. Looking at what passes for "Christianity" these days, one can certainly sympathize with the old Romans who saw it as a religion for the weak, the deracinated, the effeminate, and those dead to Roman customs. Or take the story of Iceland's conversion - peace was made by the man respected by both sides, but as soon as he died, the "Christians" violated their agreements with the pagans. Should we return to the Runes?