The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.
A note from Fjordman: This essay was written as a response to Conservative Swede’s claim that the Scientific Revolution was a result of Greek logic, not Christianity. My claim would be that it would have been impossible without the new cultural synthesis created during the Middle Ages, which very much included Christianity.
The term “medieval” has, somewhat unfairly, come to carry decisively negative connotations. There was indeed unrest and social upheavals for a prolonged period of time following the collapse of Roman authority, which triggered substantial population movements across the continent. However, even during these turbulent and troubled times there were exceptions. The Carolingians managed to halt the Islamic invasion in France in the 8th century and for some time rebuilt a stronger state.
Christianity spread among the barbarians, and especially from the 11th century onwards, Europe witnessed the rise of stronger states and more political stability. This was the period during which the first European universities were founded, and crucial improvements were made in the fields of agriculture and commerce, paving the way for a rapid rise in Europe’s population.
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In some important ways, especially regarding the accumulation of wealth and scientific knowledge and the willingness to invest in the practical application of technology for long-term gains, the Middle Ages not only caught up with, but greatly surpassed the achievements of the Classical Age. The Renaissance was an important event in Western history, but on balance, the modern West probably owes more to the Middle Ages than to the Renaissance.
Neither the Nordic lands nor most of Germany or many of the Celtic or Slavic nations of Northern and Eastern Europe were ever a part of the Roman Empire, yet we still talk about our shared “Greco-Roman heritage.” The Classical heritage came to us on the back of Christianity.
Read the rest at the Brussels Journal.