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by Richard Hodges

Download Mohammed, Charlemagne  The Origins Of Europe: Archaeology and the Pirenne Thesis ePub
  • ISBN 0715617443
  • ISBN13 978-0715617441
  • Language English
  • Author Richard Hodges
  • Publisher Duckworth (1983)
  • Pages 181
  • Formats docx rtf mobi txt
  • Category History
  • Subcategory Europe
  • Size ePub 1877 kb
  • Size Fb2 1366 kb
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Votes: 680

Mohammed, Charlemagne and the Origins of Europe:

In his 1938 book, Mohammed et Charlemagne, Belgian historian Henri Pirenne argued that the classical . These were the medieval barons.

In his 1938 book, Mohammed et Charlemagne, Belgian historian Henri Pirenne argued that the classical civilization of Greece and Rome, with its distinct economy and urban culture, did not die after the Barbarian Invasions of the fifth century. In Mohammed, Charlemagne, and the Origins of Europe, Hodges and Whitehouse claim that the evidence of archaeology refutes Pirenne's central thesis: They argue that Classical Civilization was terminally ill, and that the Arabs did not so much kill it as put it out of its misery.

In doing so, they have two objectives: to tackle the major issue of the origins of the Carolingian Empire and to indicate the almost staggering potential of the archaeological data.

Hodges, Richard; Whitehouse, David, 1941 .

Hodges, Richard; Whitehouse, David, 1941-. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by Lotu Tii on June 24, 2013. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata). Terms of Service (last updated 12/31/2014).

Hodges, Richard (1981). with D. Whitehouse), Mohammed Charlemagne and the Origins of Europe: Archaeology and Pirenne Thesis

Hodges, Richard (1981). The Hamwih Pottery : the local and imported wares from thirty years' excavations in Southampton and their European Context. Whitehouse), Mohammed Charlemagne and the Origins of Europe: Archaeology and Pirenne Thesis. Paris: Pierre Zech, 1996. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. Primitive and Peasant Markets.

Mohammed, Charlemagne, and the Origins of Europe attempts to prove the point. Henri Pirenne's classic history of Europe between the fifth and ninth centuries, Mohammed and Charlemagne, although published on the eve of the Second World War, remains an important work. Many parts of its bold framework have been attacked, but seldom decisively, for until now the evidence has been insufficient.

Richard Hodges and David Whitehouse, Mahomet, Charlemagne Et les Origines de l'Europe. Angeliki E. Laiou - 1998 - Speculum 73 (1):186-187. Mahomet et Charlemagne. Henri Pirenne - 1922 - Revue Belge de Philologie Et D’Histoire 1 (1):77-86. Mohammed and Charlemagne: A Revision. Robert S. Lopez - 1943 - Speculum 18 (1):14-38. Paul Rolland - 1939 - Revue Belge de Philologie Et D’Histoire 18 (1):163-168.

Henri Pirenne's classic history of Europe between the fifth and ninth centuries, Mohammed and Charlemagne, although published on the eve of the Second World War, remains an important work.

Pp. 190. HodgesRichard and WhitehouseDavid, Mohammed, Charlemagne & The Origins of Europe: Archaeology and the Pirenne Thesis (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1983).

This book discusses the archaeological evidence for Pirenne's thesis.

book by Richard Hodges. The archaeology of the period . This book discusses the archaeological evidence for Pirenne's thesis.

archaeology and the Pirenne thesis. Published 1983 by Cornell University Press in Ithaca, . Other Titles. Mohammed, Charlemagne and the origins of Europe. ix, 181 p. : ill. ; 23 cm. - Number of pages.

Talk about Mohammed, Charlemagne The Origins Of Europe: Archaeology and the Pirenne Thesis


Kare
I read this good book, here in Brazil.This book is short, concise, mainly correct and has many photos and some maps.All the photos and maps are black & white.
The main problem of this book is its will to refute, the so called Pirenne's thesis.Using archeological evidence, not available to Henri Pirenne(1862-1935), while he was alive.
This book is mainly good, but its peaks in on the pages 156 and 157, where we can read:
"Five conclusions
This chapter and the one before leads us to five conclusions:

1. Bagdad (founded in 762), thanks to its position and the presence of the abassid court, rapidly became the centre of a great commercial network, which at the end of the eighth century and in the early ninth century expanded to include the Arabian Sea and places as far removed as southern Chine.The reign of Harun al-Rachid(775-809) saw the wealth of Baghdad and the volume of trade reach unprecedented heights.
2.The abassid caliphs failed to create internal stability, and the ninth century was a period of frequent revolts and infighting between members of the ruling family, factions at the court and the army.The legitimate sucessor of al-Rashid climbed to the throne over the body of a usurper;of the eight succeeding caliphs, two were assassinated and two died in exile.
3.With few exceptions, the caliphs were reckless spenders.The foundation of a new capital, Samarra, in 836, demanded expenditure on a colossal scale.Al-Mutasim built a palacelarger than Versailles in 836-842;al-Mutawakkil replaced it with another, almost as large, in about 849-59;al-Mutamid build a third in 878-82.The city itself extended along the Tigris for 35 kilometers.
4.The product of intermittent warfare and gross extravagance was an economic disaster.At the death of Harun al-Rashid,the Abassid treasury was overflowing;on the accession of al-Mutadid(892) it was empty.
5.The high point in the exportation of silver to Scandinavia, therefore, coincided with an economic boom in western Asia in the reign of Harun.The drying-up of the supply coincided with the gradual exhaustion of the Abassid economy."

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Even so,the Pirenne's thesis remains up.
Decades, in fact some centuries, before the foundation of Islam, Asia and Europe were in terrible decadency.Islam doomed a corrupt,decadent and weak structure.Persian and Byzantium were both corrupt and weak totalitarian empires.Both exausted by warfare between them, they were easily defeated by Arabs.In fact, Islam grew by a chain reaction.Wars bought lands, money and persons to made new wars and, new wars bought even more lands, money and persons than before, again.A chain reaction.
The barbarians didn't wanted to wipe out catholicism or any kind of a strong christian faith.Islam in other side, remains the strongest and oldest catholic church's foe.Islam wiped out a weak, corrupt and divided christianism in Asia and North of Africa.Charlemagne had to melt islamic silver coins, because he had to have a stable coin, but also be pround of an economy with real money.
The international trade in long range, remained, as this book shows, but this book forgets the fact that it was, far below the levels of Roman Empire, to example.
This book also forgets to compare the differences of rule under islamic, bizantine and catholic rules.It describes the lifestyle in islamic palaces, but what kind of polices were used for things, such as agriculture, in islamic or Europeans lands?
For me, this book is good, but I must tell you that Pirenne's main thesis remains up.
Kegal
An excellent synopsis of the controversy in historiography concerning the Pirenne thesis.
Malann
In his 1938 book, Mohammed et Charlemagne, Belgian historian Henri Pirenne argued that the classical civilization of Greece and Rome, with its distinct economy and urban culture, did not die after the Barbarian Invasions of the fifth century. On the contrary, it was very little affected by these events, which merely put an end to the political power of Rome - a political power that was in any case in decline long before the barbarians delivered the coup de grace. The civilization of Rome, however, which is more accurately described as Classical Civilization, was wholeheartedly embraced by the Germanic invaders, and it survived into the early part of the seventh century - only to be finally snuffed out in the middle of that century by the Islamic Conquests. According to Pirenne, the occupation of the eastern Mediterranean and North Africa by Muslim forces broke the unity of the Mediterranean world, and Muslim piracy effectively terminated all trade between western Europe and the East. Since the cities of the West depended upon this trade for their prosperity, these began to die. Deprived of the taxation which previously accrued from the Mediterranean trade, the Germanic kings of Spain, Gaul and Italy lost much of their political clout, and local strongmen arose to challenge their authority. These were the medieval barons.
In Mohammed, Charlemagne, and the Origins of Europe, Hodges and Whitehouse claim that the evidence of archaeology refutes Pirenne's central thesis: They argue that Classical Civilization was terminally ill, and that the Arabs did not so much kill it as put it out of its misery. In support of this claim, they contend that the population of western Europe had fallen massively in the three centuries between the third and sixth. In fact, they suggest it had fallen by up to 80%; and that by the year 600 western Europe's economy was in terminal decline.
But the only evidence Hodges and Whitehouse produce in support of this astonishing contention are the archaeological investigations conducted in the environs of Rome (mainly southern Etruria) during the 1960s and 70s. These regions do indeed show a dramatic fall in prosperity between the third and sixth centuries. Imports of high quality African Red Slip Ware are shown to have declined by up to 80% in the latter three centuries. This may indicate a large decline in population: It most certainly points to a dramatic decline in prosperity. Yet Rome and central Italy can hardly be described as typical of western Europe; and it is quite inappropriate to use data from this region as a microcosm for Europe in general. Hodges and Whitehouse fail to consider the political history of Rome between the third and sixth centuries. Had they done so, they would have realized that the occurrence of luxury items in villas surrounding Rome concurs precisely with what we know of the Eternal City's fortunes during this epoch. The fact is that the balance of power in the Roman Empire shifted decisively to the East, with the founding of Constantinople in 324. By the end of the fourth century, Rome was no longer even the capital of the Western Empire, her place having been taken by Ravenna. The city was then sacked twice in the fifth century; in 410 by Alaric and his Visigoths, and in 455 by Genseric and his Vandals. With the abolition of the Western Empire in 476 the prestige of the city suffered further, and after the invasion of Italy by the Lombards in 568, Rome was reduced to little more than an average-sized provincial town.
Many, if not indeed all, of the country villas around Rome which imported luxuries such as Red Slip Ware in the second and third centuries, were owned by members of the Roman aristocracy. With the precipitate decline of that aristocracy, along with Rome's fortunes (and population), in the fourth to sixth centuries, we would expect nothing else than a dramatic drop in the wealth of the settlements around the city. And that is precisely what we do find. It is important to remember that Rome, unlike other great cities of antiquity such as Alexandria and Constantinople, did not occupy a position that would naturally have guaranteed her wealth and prosperity. She stood at no trading crossroads. Rome owed her vast wealth and population to her military prowess and to her political importance. With the decline of these, her population would naturally have dwindled. And that is precisely what the archaeology reveals.
As it happens, the archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean, which Hodges and Whitehouse themselves cite, conclusively proves that there was no decline, either of prosperity or of population, in the years leading up to 600. An an example we might look at the city of Ephesus. Here I quote Hodges and Whitehouse:
"In the fifth century many parts of the classical city were being rebuilt, and all the signs point to an immense mercantile wealth as late as 600.The best examples of this late flowering have been found in the excavations alongside the Embolos, the monumental street in the centre of Ephesus, where crowded dwellings have been uncovered. Nearly all of them were lavishly decorated in the fifth or early sixth century, and their courtyards were floored with marble or mosaics." (p. 61)
Again, "The sheer grandeur of the fifth and sixth centuries in Ephesus can be seen in the remains of the great Justinianic church of St. John. In architectural and artistic terms the chroniclers led us to believe St. John was close to Sancta Sophia and San Vitale in magnificence. Its floor was covered with elaborately cut marble, and among the many paintings was one depicting Christ crowning Justinian and Theodora. No less remarkable are the many mausolea and chapels of the period centred around the grotto of the Seven Sleepers. These Early Christian funerary remains testify to the wealth of its citizens in death, complementing their lavishly decorated homes by the Embolos." (p. 62)
The end came dramatically: "Then, suddenly, in about 614, to judge by the coin evidence, these residential complexes were destroyed by fire. There has been much debate about the cataclysmic end of these quarters: was there an earthquake, or were the houses sacked by the Persian army in 616, or was there a major fire which began by accident?" (pp. 61-2)
The authors answer their own question as they continue:
"... the picture [in Ephesus] changed after the Persian sack in 616. A new city was constructed, enclosing less than a square kilometre, while a citadel was established on the hill of Ayasuluk overlooking Ephesus. The city wall defended a little of the harbour, which was evidently silting up by this time." (p. 62)
It was the Persian War then, in the reign of Heraclius, which began the economic destruction of the Eastern Empire. In the words of Clive Foss, whom Hodges and Whitehouse quote: "The Persian war may ... be seen as the first stage in the process which marked the end of Antiquity in Asia Minor. The Arabs continued the work." (From Hodges and Whitehouse, p. 61)
It was therefore from the 620s that the great cities of the East, particularly in Asia Minor and Syria, fall into ruin. In the years after that date, to quote Clive Foss again: "Almost all the cities [of Asia Minor] suffered a substantial decline; Smyrna alone may have formed an exception. In some instances, the reduction was drastic. Sardis, Pergamum, Miletus, Priene and Magnesia became small fortresses; Colossae disappeared, to be replaced by a fort high above the ancient site. ... The cities reached their lowest point in the seventh and eighth centuries ... urban life, upon which the classical Mediterranean culture had been based, was virtually at an end; one of the richest lands of classical civilisation was now dominated by villages and fortresses." (pp. 62-3)
From this, it becomes clear that classical civilization, in the East as well as in the West, did not just wither away and die: it was killed. The signs of violent destruction are everywhere from around 615 onwards. But who killed it?
As might be expected, Hodges and Whitehouse strive to exonerate the Arabs and pin the blame on the Persians - as well as on an inherent decadence on the part of classical civilization itself. They stress that, in Ephesus, "Urban life clearly was waning quite dramatically when the first Arab attack took place in 654-5." (p. 62) Fine, but there had been wars between Persians and Romans before. Indeed, war between these two had been almost part of normal life for seven centuries. How is it then that this war led to the end of classical civilization? What was different about this conflict? Wars, no matter how destructive, are normally followed by treaties of peace; and when these are signed economic activity and prosperity recovers. It had happened before many times between Romans and Persians. It did not happen this time. Why?
The answer is glaringly obvious: The Byzantines did not have sufficient time to repair the damage done by the Persians before the Arabs arrived to waste the region permanently. As John O'Neill shows in his Holy Warriors: Islam and the Demise of Classical Civilization, one of the fundamentals of the Islamic faith was the acceptability, even the duty, of Muslims to wage war against the infidel. Islam divided the world into two starkly opposing camps: that of Islam, the Dar al-Islam, and that of the unbelievers, which was known as the Dar al-Harb. But Dar al-Harb literally means "House of War". Jihad or Holy War, as we have seen, was a fundamental duty of all Muslim rulers. Truces were allowed, but never a lasting peace. (See eg. Koran, 8: 40 and 9: 124). In the words of medieval historian Robert Irwin, "Since the jihad [was] ... a state of permanent war, it [excluded] ... the possibility of true peace, but it [did] ... allow for provisional truces in accordance with the requirements of the political situation." (Robert Irwin, "Islam and the Crusades: 1096-1699," in Jonathan Riley-Smith (ed.) The Oxford History of the Crusades (Oxford, 1995) pp. 237). Also, "Muslim religious law could not countenance the formal conclusion of any sort of permanent peace with the infidel." (Ibid.) In such circumstances, it is evident that, when the Islamic forces were in a position of strength, almost all contact between them and the outside world was warlike. And this was not war as is waged between two kingdoms, empires, or dynasties: This was total war, war that did not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, and war that did not end. In this spirit, Islamic generals launched attack after attack against the southern shores of Europe during the seventh and eighth centuries; and these "official" actions were supplemented by hundreds, even thousands, of lesser raids, carried out by minor Muslim commanders and even by private individuals: For it was considered legitimate that the Muslim faithful should live off the infidel world. Whatever spoils could be taken, were divinely sanctioned.
The coming of Islam therefore signalled a wave of banditry and piracy in the Mediterranean such as had not been seen since before the second century BC, when such activities were severely curtailed by Roman naval power. Indeed, it seems that this new Islamic piracy surpassed in scope and destructiveness anything that had come before. Ordinary pirates might be deterred by powerful navies which threatened them with an early death: Muslim pirates would be less put off by such dangers since, in their minds, they were carrying out the will of God, and to die in such activity was considered a sure to way paradise.
It is surely no coincidence that by the 630s all over western Europe the scattered and undefended lowland farming settlements that characterized the Roman epoch, began to be replaced by secure and easily-defended hill-top settlements - the first medieval castles. Hodges and Whitehouse note this process but, significantly, make no attempt to explain it. Nor can it be any coincidence that throughout the entire Mediterranean a layer of subsoil named the Late Fill separates the Roman Period from the Medieval. This layer is generally dated to the mid-seventh century, and is believed to have been formed by the abandonment of the cultivation techniques, such as terracing, used in the Imperial epoch. With the destruction of these terraces, topsoil was washed away, leading to silting up of river valleys and blocking of harbors. This is observed, as Hodges and Whitehouse themselves note, from Palestine to Spain.
What could have caused such a universal destruction? Hodges and Whitehouse make to attempt at explanation. How about a faith which preaches perpetual war and plunder?
Not only does the evidence of archaeology fail to refute Pirenne; it offers him stunning support. It is Hodges and Whitehouse who are refuted.
Chi
this book has an amazing view for cultural connections between late antique and middle ages from different lands. you should read.