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Roman antiques - The Empire Strikes Back

Mar 20, 2008
How Roman antiques history can come and go in waves can fascinate and cause us to marvel. First major influences came out of west Asia and Egypt, then up the east side of the sea.

This great sea became the focus of western civilization and Phoenician and Greek ships colonized the more western regions, Greeks in Italy and Spain. Phoenicians created Carthage.

These mighty empires would rise and fall in their turn, and by the time Germans had sacked Rome, Rome had sacked Carthage, and all were at odds in their bits and pieces of local authorities and petty kingdoms.

With Islam, the Moorish armies swept across north Africa as well as east. They occupied Spain until 1492 and during the dark ages the Moors kept alive the knowledge and history of civilization. To the extent, that scholars would move between Granada to Alexandria for the greatest university level of education.

German Franks swept into Gaul as the Roman legions were pulled home to defend Rome from attacks by other Germans. The larger population of Gaul spoke Latin by now, while the Franks were in control, they took on the local Latin dialect and it became known as the language of the Franks, or French.

Gaul was now France, and these two families would fight and feud right up until 1945. But they did convert slowly to be of the Christian faith. By 700 the first Frankish king Charles Martel stopped an Islamic attempt to cross into the main body of Europe.

With this, Europe gradually became Christian and pray to God, while north Africa and to the east became Muslim and would pray to Allah. And yet, Spain did show that all could exist in harmony, whether Jewish, Christian or of the Muslim faith. This was true enlightened leadership during very dark ages in history when neighbor killed neighbor for scraps of food.

Now, it seems that Spain is in the lead again, as talks are being floated that a greater European Union could be naturally encouraged to encourage membership in their club with all of north Africa as well as Turkey and any Ukraine or Serbia or Kosovo that wished to join, once they had met the firm civilization rules to join such as democratic honest elections and civil rights to all.

This seems a very far sighted and brave approach to incorporating folks you might get along with, if enough are determined to make it happen. We have suggested that the arc like bridge that Leonardo da Vinci had designed for Saladin to bridge the Bosporus at the newly named Istanbul.

That bridge was never built, yet there is a fine bridge there now connecting east and west Istanbul, or Asia and Europe. And with our new Spanish eyes, can you imagine that bridge being built to connect the Pillars of Hercules, or Gibraltar, to north Africa in Morocco.

If that comes to be in any of our lifetimes, we want to part of that first cavalcade over that new bridge that could be one more step up in the history of civilization. And, why not drive the short distance to Casablanca and pop in to Rick's Cafe.

Remind the piano player that if he could play it for her, he could play it for us. Then we need to go visit Carthage as I hear Europe funds will be used to rebuild it near Tunis. Here the dry tropical air would be a great winter spa. They may put a sign on the lawn, no ancient Romans allowed. They would be welcomed from all over this new Europe: Finland, Serbia, Turkey, Egypt. But not ancient Rome. Memories linger on.
About the Author
Derek Dashwood admires the vision and brave thoughts for a wider civilization around Europe, Africa, and west Asia without borders and we discuss this and other issues at
Roman Antique Legacies For Now
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