“Chapel Perilous, that vortex where cosmological speculations, coincidences, and paranoia seem to multiply and then collapse, compelling belief or lunacy, wisdom or agnosticism.” ~Robert Anton Wilson


    Historical figures and events

    Share
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Historical figures and events

    Post by Extant on Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:17 am

    Use this thread to detail historical figures and events that are noteworthy, from the reign of Hammurabai in Babylon, to the Khazar empire, to the Occult philosophy underpinning the rise of the Third Reich, to eugenics, to Millenarianism, to alternative history theories, the ancient genesis of the sixties free love generation, and whatever else interests you in history.

    Wikipedia: Alexis Carrel

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

    Alexis Carrel (June 28, 1873 – November 5, 1944) was a French surgeon, biologist and eugenicist, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1912.

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    In 1935, Carrel published a best-selling book titled L'Homme, cet inconnu (Man, The Unknown) which advocated, in part, that mankind could better itself by following the guidance of an elite group of intellectuals, and by implementing a regime of enforced eugenics. Carrel claimed the existence of a "hereditary biological aristocracy" and argued that "deviant" human types should be suppressed using techniques similar to those later employed by the Nazis.

    "A euthanasia establishment, equipped with a suitable gas, would allow the humanitarian and economic disposal of those who have killed, committed armed robbery, kidnapped children, robbed the poor or seriously betrayed public confidence," Carrel wrote in L'Homme, cet Inconnu. "Would the same system not be appropriate for lunatics who have committed criminal acts?" he suggested.

    In the 1936 preface to the German edition of his book, Alexis Carrel added a praise to the eugenics policies of the Third Reich, writing that:

    (t)he German government has taken energetic measures against the propagation of the defective, the mentally diseased, and the criminal. The ideal solution would be the suppression of each of these individuals as soon as he has proven himself to be dangerous.[15]

    Carrel also wrote in his book that:

    (t)he conditioning of petty criminals with the whip, or some more scientific procedure, followed by a short stay in hospital, would probably suffice to insure order. Those who have murdered, robbed while armed with automatic pistol or machine gun, kidnapped children, despoiled the poor of their savings, misled the public in important matters, should be humanely and economically disposed of in small euthanasic institutions supplied with proper gasses. A similar treatment could be advantageously applied to the insane, guilty of criminal acts.[16]

    God's Eugenist: Alexis Carrel and the Sociobiology of Decline - Andres Horacio Reggiani

    The temptations of a new genetically informed eugenics and of a revived faith-based, world-wide political stance, this study of the interaction of science, religion, politics and the culture of celebrity in twentieth-century Europe and America offers a fascinating and important contribution to the history of this movement. The author looks at the career of French-born physician and Nobel Prize winner, Alexis Carrel (1873-1944), as a way of understanding the popularization of eugenics through religious faith, scientific expertise, cultural despair and right-wing politics in the 1930s and 1940s. Carrel was among the most prestigious experimental surgeons of his time who also held deeply illiberal views. In "Man, the Unknown" (1935), he endorsed fascism and called for the elimination of the "unfit." The book became a huge international success, largely thanks to its promotion by Readers' Digest as well as by the author's friendship with Charles Lindbergh. In 1941, he went into the service of the French pro-German regime of Vichy, which appointed him to head an institution of eugenics research. His influence was remarkable, affecting radical Islamic groups as well Le Pen's Front National that celebrated him as the "founder of ecology." It includes a foreword by Herman Lebovics.
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Extant on Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:19 am

    Wikipedia (French - translated) - Tafurs

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    The Massacre of Antioch - Gustave Dore

    Google Books: Pursuit of the Millennium - Norman Cohn: Tafurs

    Crusades Encyclopedia: Cannibalism during the crusades

    "le roi Tafur," King Tafur: said to be a Norman knight who had discarded horse, arms, and armour in favour of sackcloth and scythe.
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Lucid Memes on Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:23 pm

    That Alexis Carrel guy is pretty crazy. But one thing to note, is that for his time (the late 1800's early 1900's), eugenics was a very very common intellectual topic of discussion and theory. I'm currently reading the book "Strange Creations" by Donna Kossy and I was struck by how out in the open the topic of eugenics was amongst the upper middle and ruling classes of the industrialized world. But it was mostly in theory and done in small scale experiments. You can thank the Nazi's for single-handedly making eugenics a dirty word. The horror of eugenics, applied on a mass scale has scared the consciousness of humanity in the 20th century. But its coming back again in a more technological, transhumanist form.


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    link
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Extant on Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:32 pm

    Yeah, it was tres common in that era. It's just cloaked and veiled under other names and concepts as you say now.
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Extant on Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:56 pm

    James Webb, rational historian of the occult. Rational, that is, up until the end of his life at any rate.

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    The Damned: the strange death of James Webb

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    “The tragedy,” he told Joyce, “is infinitely far distant, the adventure infinitely long. And we are ageless, ageless.
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Lucid Memes on Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:40 pm

    ^^^

    That was a good article written by Gary Lachman. I have one of his books "Politics and the Occult"

    James Webb seems like an interesting researcher, of which I could sympathize with because of similar experiences (as I'm guessing you do too Extant Wink ). The similarity for me personally with Webb is in interest in conspiracies, dedication to research, depression, hallucinations, etc...but our paths are reversed in the sense that he went from rational investigator to paranoid delusions, were as I now do the opposite and focus on non-supernatural explains for strange occurrences.

    Perhaps I'll be looking into some of Webb's earlier installments.


    Last edited by Lucid Memes on Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:07 pm; edited 1 time in total


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    link
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Lucid Memes on Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:06 pm

    Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan & The Social Contract (1651)

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

    The English Civil War broke out in 1642, and when the Royalist cause began to decline in the middle of 1644 there was an exodus of the king's supporters to Europe. Many came to Paris and were known to Hobbes. This revitalised Hobbes's political interests [...]

    The company of the exiled royalists led Hobbes to produce an English book to set forth his theory of civil government in relation to the political crisis resulting from the war. The State, it now seemed to Hobbes, might be regarded as a great artificial man or monster (Leviathan), composed of men, with a life that might be traced from its generation under pressure of human needs to its dissolution through civil strife proceeding from human passions.

    [...]
    In Leviathan, Hobbes set out his doctrine of the foundation of states and legitimate governments - based on social contract theories. Leviathan was written during the English Civil War; much of the book is occupied with demonstrating the necessity of a strong central authority to avoid the evil of discord and civil war.

    Beginning from a mechanistic understanding of human beings and the passions, Hobbes postulates what life would be like without government, a condition which he calls the state of nature. In that state, each person would have a right, or license, to everything in the world. This inevitably leads to conflict, a "war of all against all" (bellum omnium contra omnes), and thus lives that are "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" (xiii).

    To escape this state of war, men in the state of nature accede to a social contract and establish a civil society. According to Hobbes, society is a population beneath a sovereign authority, to whom all individuals in that society cede their natural rights for the sake of protection. Any abuses of power by this authority are to be accepted as the price of peace. However, he also states that in severe cases of abuse, rebellion is expected. In particular, the doctrine of separation of powers is rejected:[11] the sovereign must control civil, military, judicial and ecclesiastical powers.

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    link
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Extant on Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:57 pm

    Lucid Memes wrote:^^^

    That was a good article written by Gary Lachman. I have one of his books "Politics and the Occult"

    James Webb seems like an interesting researcher, of which I could sympathize with because of similar experiences (as I'm guessing you do too Extant Wink ). The similarity for me personally with Webb is in interest in conspiracies, dedication to research, depression, hallucinations, etc...but our paths are reversed in the sense that he went from rational investigator to paranoid delusions, were as I now do the opposite and focus on non-supernatural explains for strange occurrences.

    Perhaps I'll be looking into some of Webb's earlier installments.

    I had heard of Webb a while back, read that Fortean Times piece a couple of years ago but had forgotten about him. My searches on the 'net relating to synarchism brought me to his most well known books, The Occult Underground and The Occult Establishment. I've read a little bit about what he writes on Saint-Yves d'Alveydre in the former book and it contrasts sharply with the information Picknett and Prince gave in the lecture on syanrchy I thought quite highly of. I'll have to delve into that subject soon, read his books and the ones from Picknett and Prince.
    I'd like to get some corroboration of the record of events that the Fortean Times article details as well.
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Lucid Memes on Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:12 pm

    What Picknett/Prince lecture are you referring to? and how does it differ from Webb's ideas?


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    link
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Extant on Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:25 pm

    Lucid Memes wrote:What Picknett/Prince lecture are you referring to? and how does it differ from Webb's ideas?

    Synarchy - Rise of the Rough Beast

    Read that. Very good lecture. Webb (though I haven't read all of the material related to Saint-Yves in the book) seems to relegate him to the fringes of the occult as a charlatan who was influenced by the ideas taken from theosophy and other occult systems, whereas Picknett and Prince's lecture has it totally the other way around. Webb sees him as minor a relatively minor figure, but does have him as the creator of the synarchist doctrine, so even if he only took on the occult knowledge of others and didn't influence people in such a way as P & P claim, he still seems to have used such knowledge, concepts, for use in the synarchist ideology. Webb does view him as total chancer it seems as well. Like I said, I've only skimmed the book so far. Have to read it properly some time.
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Lucid Memes on Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:30 am

    Awesome, thanks for that.

    We'll continue further Synarchy discussion here - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    link
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Extant on Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:53 pm

    BBC Four Radio: In Our Time - Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    The "In Our Time" show is a damn good showcase for serious historians to muse and duke it out over various historical figures, events, theories, and outlooks. Good episode this particular one. So too the following on Francis Bacon:

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    Next show on the 24th December? The Samuarai. Should be of interest to Lucid Memes as regards his Duelling and Honour thread. pirat
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Lucid Memes on Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:02 pm

    Haha! Of course you'd be one to listen to that show too! Laughing

    Dude, I have then entire history of the show stored on my HD. Every episode except for the more recent one's from this year. I've only listened to a very small percentage of them however, but will get through as many as possible when the time is available.

    Thanks for linking to the site


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    link
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Lucid Memes on Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:08 am

    I haven't been able to listen to the Pythagoras one yet. Perhaps javascript problems. But I know I'll eventually get it

    I listened to the Bacon one however. It was very good. The religious inspiration for Bacon was particularly interesting for me in regards to where certain ideas came from Wink (I also still think he's Shakespeare lol)

    If anyone needs any episode from In Our Time, of which the site doesn't have a direct link to the broadcast, check with me, I might have the file on hand.


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    link
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Extant on Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:51 am

    This interview is worthwhile, despite it being feminist propaganda I feel in some ways, similar perhaps to a less partisan Barabara Walker. When I was first listening to this I felt I wouldn't make it through, my trigger finger was itchy to press the stop button, but then I could see that this researcher may be onto something quite real. She is certainly honest about her research and the methodologies she employs, largely based on interpretation, or hermeneustics. If you get through to about halfway you will hear some references that will immediately bring season 2 of True Blood to mind.
    Besides, for a feminist she is most attractive, gray hair and all. Sort of all healthy, wholesome, and sparkling. Laughing I iz officially now a fan.

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    Dr. Marguerite Rigoglioso

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]


    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]







    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]




    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Extant on Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:04 pm

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

    Fascinating stuff. It always amazes how much the irrational still underpins or underwrites the so-called rational world. How the mystical and magickal (or magickal thinking) still flourishes beneath the veneer of the scientific, rational world. It's still that way I think, right here, right now.

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]


    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]







    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]




    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Lucid Memes on Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:49 pm

    Interesting... Gnostic Media, eh? I'm familiar with those guys. Jan and Andrew. I used to be a regular at their forum a few years ago. I'm big into the study of psychedelics.

    alien (<--imagine mushrooms growing from head)


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    link
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Extant on Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:00 pm

    Yeah, I've read their book, Astrotheoloy and Shamanism a couple of years back. Interesting, but Christ is not a symbolic myth emblematic of the amanita muscaria, or any other mushroom. Entheogens played their part in many religions for sure, I just don't see the support for that particular thesis. I've only just discovered this podcast Jan Irvin is doing now and I'm enjoying the guests he has had on so far. He does of course try to tilt things back to psychedelics all the time. Cool
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Lucid Memes on Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:54 pm

    I think their might be something to it though, at least in the area of the Catholic Church. For me, there was a critical mass of symbolic artwork that had too many mushroom similarities for me to overlook. Its been a while since I've looked into this however. This may be thread worthy. But I will consider your suggestion since you've read the book and I have not. I do plan on getting to it one day however.


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    link
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Extant on Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:14 pm

    Lucid Memes wrote:I think their might be something to it though, at least in the area of the Catholic Church. For me, there was a critical mass of symbolic artwork that had too many mushroom similarities for me to overlook. Its been a while since I've looked into this however. This may be thread worthy. But I will consider your suggestion since you've read the book and I have not. I do plan on getting to it one day however.

    The mushroom iconography in later medieval Church reliefs, artwork, illuminated manuscripts; sure. But I don't subscribe to the theory, especially as the evidence (as I remember anyway) was purely speculative, that Christ never existed and was purely symbolic of the amanita muscaria. Whether Christ existed or not is perhaps a more open question, but there is too much of this "Christ was a myth" stuff from too many sham scholars out to prove a wild theory.


    Last edited by Extant on Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Extant on Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:14 pm

    A Lost European Culture, Pulled From Obscurity

    Spoiler:
    Before the glory that was Greece and Rome, even before the first cities of Mesopotamia or temples along the Nile, there lived in the Lower Danube Valley and the Balkan foothills people who were ahead of their time in art, technology and long-distance trade.

    For 1,500 years, starting earlier than 5000 B.C., they farmed and built sizable towns, a few with as many as 2,000 dwellings. They mastered large-scale copper smelting, the new technology of the age. Their graves held an impressive array of exquisite headdresses and necklaces and, in one cemetery, the earliest major assemblage of gold artifacts to be found anywhere in the world.

    The striking designs of their pottery speak of the refinement of the culture’s visual language. Until recent discoveries, the most intriguing artifacts were the ubiquitous terracotta “goddess” figurines, originally interpreted as evidence of the spiritual and political power of women in society.

    New research, archaeologists and historians say, has broadened understanding of this long overlooked culture, which seemed to have approached the threshold of “civilization” status. Writing had yet to be invented, and so no one knows what the people called themselves. To some scholars, the people and the region are simply Old Europe.

    The little-known culture is being rescued from obscurity in an exhibition, “The Lost World of Old Europe: the Danube Valley, 5000-3500 B.C.,” which opened last month at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. More than 250 artifacts from museums in Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania are on display for the first time in the United States. The show will run through April 25.

    At its peak, around 4500 B.C., said David W. Anthony, the exhibition’s guest curator, “Old Europe was among the most sophisticated and technologically advanced places in the world” and was developing “many of the political, technological and ideological signs of civilization.”

    Dr. Anthony is a professor of anthropology at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., and author of “The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World.” Historians suggest that the arrival in southeastern Europe of people from the steppes may have contributed to the collapse of the Old Europe culture by 3500 B.C.

    At the exhibition preview, Roger S. Bagnall, director of the institute, confessed that until now “a great many archaeologists had not heard of these Old Europe cultures.” Admiring the colorful ceramics, Dr. Bagnall, a specialist in Egyptian archaeology, remarked that at the time “Egyptians were certainly not making pottery like this.”

    A show catalog, published by Princeton University Press, is the first compendium in English of research on Old Europe discoveries. The book, edited by Dr. Anthony, with Jennifer Y. Chi, the institute’s associate director for exhibitions, includes essays by experts from Britain, France, Germany, the United States and the countries where the culture existed.

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

    Dr. Chi said the exhibition reflected the institute’s interest in studying the relationships of well-known cultures and the “underappreciated ones.”

    Although excavations over the last century uncovered traces of ancient settlements and the goddess figurines, it was not until local archaeologists in 1972 discovered a large fifth-millennium B.C. cemetery at Varna, Bulgaria, that they began to suspect these were not poor people living in unstructured egalitarian societies. Even then, confined in cold war isolation behind the Iron Curtain, Bulgarians and Romanians were unable to spread their knowledge to the West.

    The story now emerging is of pioneer farmers after about 6200 B.C. moving north into Old Europe from Greece and Macedonia, bringing wheat and barley seeds and domesticated cattle and sheep. They established colonies along the Black Sea and in the river plains and hills, and these evolved into related but somewhat distinct cultures, archaeologists have learned. The settlements maintained close contact through networks of trade in copper and gold and also shared patterns of ceramics.

    The Spondylus shell from the Aegean Sea was a special item of trade. Perhaps the shells, used in pendants and bracelets, were symbols of their Aegean ancestors. Other scholars view such long-distance acquisitions as being motivated in part by ideology in which goods are not commodities in the modern sense but rather “valuables,” symbols of status and recognition.

    Noting the diffusion of these shells at this time, Michel Louis Seferiades, an anthropologist at the National Center for Scientific Research in France, suspects “the objects were part of a halo of mysteries, an ensemble of beliefs and myths.”

    In any event, Dr. Seferiades wrote in the exhibition catalog that the prevalence of the shells suggested the culture had links to “a network of access routes and a social framework of elaborate exchange systems — including bartering, gift exchange and reciprocity.”

    Over a wide area of what is now Bulgaria and Romania, the people settled into villages of single- and multiroom houses crowded inside palisades. The houses, some with two stories, were framed in wood with clay-plaster walls and beaten-earth floors. For some reason, the people liked making fired clay models of multilevel dwellings, examples of which are exhibited.

    A few towns of the Cucuteni people, a later and apparently robust culture in the north of Old Europe, grew to more than 800 acres, which archaeologists consider larger than any other known human settlements at the time. But excavations have yet to turn up definitive evidence of palaces, temples or large civic buildings. Archaeologists concluded that rituals of belief seemed to be practiced in the homes, where cultic artifacts have been found.

    The household pottery decorated in diverse, complex styles suggested the practice of elaborate at-home dining rituals. Huge serving bowls on stands were typical of the culture’s “socializing of food presentation,” Dr. Chi said.

    At first, the absence of elite architecture led scholars to assume that Old Europe had little or no hierarchical power structure. This was dispelled by the graves in the Varna cemetery. For two decades after 1972, archaeologists found 310 graves dated to about 4500 B.C. Dr. Anthony said this was “the best evidence for the existence of a clearly distinct upper social and political rank.”

    Vladimir Slavchev, a curator at the Varna Regional Museum of History, said the “richness and variety of the Varna grave gifts was a surprise,” even to the Bulgarian archaeologist Ivan Ivanov, who directed the discoveries. “Varna is the oldest cemetery yet found where humans were buried with golden ornaments,” Dr. Slavchev said.

    More than 3,000 pieces of gold were found in 62 of the graves, along with copper weapons and tools, and ornaments, necklaces and bracelets of the prized Aegean shells. “The concentration of imported prestige objects in a distinct minority of graves suggest that institutionalized higher ranks did exist,” exhibition curators noted in a text panel accompanying the Varna gold.

    Yet it is puzzling that the elite seemed not to indulge in private lives of excess. “The people who donned gold costumes for public events while they were alive,” Dr. Anthony wrote, “went home to fairly ordinary houses.”

    Copper, not gold, may have been the main source of Old Europe’s economic success, Dr. Anthony said. As copper smelting developed about 5400 B.C., the Old Europe cultures tapped abundant ores in Bulgaria and what is now Serbia and learned the high-heat technique of extracting pure metallic copper.

    Smelted copper, cast as axes, hammered into knife blades and coiled in bracelets, became valuable exports. Old Europe copper pieces have been found in graves along the Volga River, 1,200 miles east of Bulgaria. Archaeologists have recovered more than five tons of pieces from Old Europe sites.

    An entire gallery is devoted to the figurines, the more familiar and provocative of the culture’s treasures. They have been found in virtually every Old Europe culture and in several contexts: in graves, house shrines and other possibly “religious spaces.”

    One of the best known is the fired clay figure of a seated man, his shoulders bent and hands to his face in apparent contemplation. Called the “Thinker,” the piece and a comparable female figurine were found in a cemetery of the Hamangia culture, in Romania. Were they thinking, or mourning?

    Many of the figurines represent women in stylized abstraction, with truncated or elongated bodies and heaping breasts and expansive hips. The explicit sexuality of these figurines invites interpretations relating to earthly and human fertility.

    An arresting set of 21 small female figurines, seated in a circle, was found at a pre-Cucuteni village site in northeastern Romania. “It is not difficult to imagine,” said Douglass W. Bailey of San Francisco State University, the Old Europe people “arranging sets of seated figurines into one or several groups of miniature activities, perhaps with the smaller figurines at the feet or even on the laps of the larger, seated ones.”

    Others imagined the figurines as the “Council of Goddesses.” In her influential books three decades ago, Marija Gimbutas, an anthropologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, offered these and other so-called Venus figurines as representatives of divinities in cults to a Mother Goddess that reigned in prehistoric Europe.

    Although the late Dr. Gimbutas still has an ardent following, many scholars hew to more conservative, nondivine explanations. The power of the objects, Dr. Bailey said, was not in any specific reference to the divine, but in “a shared understanding of group identity.”

    As Dr. Bailey wrote in the exhibition catalog, the figurines should perhaps be defined only in terms of their actual appearance: miniature, representational depictions of the human form. He thus “assumed (as is justified by our knowledge of human evolution) that the ability to make, use and understand symbolic objects such as figurines is an ability that is shared by all modern humans and thus is a capability that connects you, me, Neolithic men, women and children, and the Paleolithic painters in caves.”

    Or else the “Thinker,” for instance, is the image of you, me, the archaeologists and historians confronted and perplexed by a “lost” culture in southeastern Europe that had quite a go with life back before a single word was written or a wheel turned.

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


    Last edited by Lucid Memes on Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:58 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spoiler tags for surface brevity)
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Lucid Memes on Sat Dec 26, 2009 6:16 pm

    Extant wrote:A Lost European Culture, Pulled From Obscurity

    Spoiler:
    Before the glory that was Greece and Rome, even before the first cities of Mesopotamia or temples along the Nile, there lived in the Lower Danube Valley and the Balkan foothills people who were ahead of their time in art, technology and long-distance trade.

    For 1,500 years, starting earlier than 5000 B.C., they farmed and built sizable towns, a few with as many as 2,000 dwellings. They mastered large-scale copper smelting, the new technology of the age. Their graves held an impressive array of exquisite headdresses and necklaces and, in one cemetery, the earliest major assemblage of gold artifacts to be found anywhere in the world.

    The striking designs of their pottery speak of the refinement of the culture’s visual language. Until recent discoveries, the most intriguing artifacts were the ubiquitous terracotta “goddess” figurines, originally interpreted as evidence of the spiritual and political power of women in society.

    New research, archaeologists and historians say, has broadened understanding of this long overlooked culture, which seemed to have approached the threshold of “civilization” status. Writing had yet to be invented, and so no one knows what the people called themselves. To some scholars, the people and the region are simply Old Europe.

    The little-known culture is being rescued from obscurity in an exhibition, “The Lost World of Old Europe: the Danube Valley, 5000-3500 B.C.,” which opened last month at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. More than 250 artifacts from museums in Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania are on display for the first time in the United States. The show will run through April 25.

    At its peak, around 4500 B.C., said David W. Anthony, the exhibition’s guest curator, “Old Europe was among the most sophisticated and technologically advanced places in the world” and was developing “many of the political, technological and ideological signs of civilization.”

    Dr. Anthony is a professor of anthropology at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., and author of “The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World.” Historians suggest that the arrival in southeastern Europe of people from the steppes may have contributed to the collapse of the Old Europe culture by 3500 B.C.

    At the exhibition preview, Roger S. Bagnall, director of the institute, confessed that until now “a great many archaeologists had not heard of these Old Europe cultures.” Admiring the colorful ceramics, Dr. Bagnall, a specialist in Egyptian archaeology, remarked that at the time “Egyptians were certainly not making pottery like this.”

    A show catalog, published by Princeton University Press, is the first compendium in English of research on Old Europe discoveries. The book, edited by Dr. Anthony, with Jennifer Y. Chi, the institute’s associate director for exhibitions, includes essays by experts from Britain, France, Germany, the United States and the countries where the culture existed.

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

    Dr. Chi said the exhibition reflected the institute’s interest in studying the relationships of well-known cultures and the “underappreciated ones.”

    Although excavations over the last century uncovered traces of ancient settlements and the goddess figurines, it was not until local archaeologists in 1972 discovered a large fifth-millennium B.C. cemetery at Varna, Bulgaria, that they began to suspect these were not poor people living in unstructured egalitarian societies. Even then, confined in cold war isolation behind the Iron Curtain, Bulgarians and Romanians were unable to spread their knowledge to the West.

    The story now emerging is of pioneer farmers after about 6200 B.C. moving north into Old Europe from Greece and Macedonia, bringing wheat and barley seeds and domesticated cattle and sheep. They established colonies along the Black Sea and in the river plains and hills, and these evolved into related but somewhat distinct cultures, archaeologists have learned. The settlements maintained close contact through networks of trade in copper and gold and also shared patterns of ceramics.

    The Spondylus shell from the Aegean Sea was a special item of trade. Perhaps the shells, used in pendants and bracelets, were symbols of their Aegean ancestors. Other scholars view such long-distance acquisitions as being motivated in part by ideology in which goods are not commodities in the modern sense but rather “valuables,” symbols of status and recognition.

    Noting the diffusion of these shells at this time, Michel Louis Seferiades, an anthropologist at the National Center for Scientific Research in France, suspects “the objects were part of a halo of mysteries, an ensemble of beliefs and myths.”

    In any event, Dr. Seferiades wrote in the exhibition catalog that the prevalence of the shells suggested the culture had links to “a network of access routes and a social framework of elaborate exchange systems — including bartering, gift exchange and reciprocity.”

    Over a wide area of what is now Bulgaria and Romania, the people settled into villages of single- and multiroom houses crowded inside palisades. The houses, some with two stories, were framed in wood with clay-plaster walls and beaten-earth floors. For some reason, the people liked making fired clay models of multilevel dwellings, examples of which are exhibited.

    A few towns of the Cucuteni people, a later and apparently robust culture in the north of Old Europe, grew to more than 800 acres, which archaeologists consider larger than any other known human settlements at the time. But excavations have yet to turn up definitive evidence of palaces, temples or large civic buildings. Archaeologists concluded that rituals of belief seemed to be practiced in the homes, where cultic artifacts have been found.

    The household pottery decorated in diverse, complex styles suggested the practice of elaborate at-home dining rituals. Huge serving bowls on stands were typical of the culture’s “socializing of food presentation,” Dr. Chi said.

    At first, the absence of elite architecture led scholars to assume that Old Europe had little or no hierarchical power structure. This was dispelled by the graves in the Varna cemetery. For two decades after 1972, archaeologists found 310 graves dated to about 4500 B.C. Dr. Anthony said this was “the best evidence for the existence of a clearly distinct upper social and political rank.”

    Vladimir Slavchev, a curator at the Varna Regional Museum of History, said the “richness and variety of the Varna grave gifts was a surprise,” even to the Bulgarian archaeologist Ivan Ivanov, who directed the discoveries. “Varna is the oldest cemetery yet found where humans were buried with golden ornaments,” Dr. Slavchev said.

    More than 3,000 pieces of gold were found in 62 of the graves, along with copper weapons and tools, and ornaments, necklaces and bracelets of the prized Aegean shells. “The concentration of imported prestige objects in a distinct minority of graves suggest that institutionalized higher ranks did exist,” exhibition curators noted in a text panel accompanying the Varna gold.

    Yet it is puzzling that the elite seemed not to indulge in private lives of excess. “The people who donned gold costumes for public events while they were alive,” Dr. Anthony wrote, “went home to fairly ordinary houses.”

    Copper, not gold, may have been the main source of Old Europe’s economic success, Dr. Anthony said. As copper smelting developed about 5400 B.C., the Old Europe cultures tapped abundant ores in Bulgaria and what is now Serbia and learned the high-heat technique of extracting pure metallic copper.

    Smelted copper, cast as axes, hammered into knife blades and coiled in bracelets, became valuable exports. Old Europe copper pieces have been found in graves along the Volga River, 1,200 miles east of Bulgaria. Archaeologists have recovered more than five tons of pieces from Old Europe sites.

    An entire gallery is devoted to the figurines, the more familiar and provocative of the culture’s treasures. They have been found in virtually every Old Europe culture and in several contexts: in graves, house shrines and other possibly “religious spaces.”

    One of the best known is the fired clay figure of a seated man, his shoulders bent and hands to his face in apparent contemplation. Called the “Thinker,” the piece and a comparable female figurine were found in a cemetery of the Hamangia culture, in Romania. Were they thinking, or mourning?

    Many of the figurines represent women in stylized abstraction, with truncated or elongated bodies and heaping breasts and expansive hips. The explicit sexuality of these figurines invites interpretations relating to earthly and human fertility.

    An arresting set of 21 small female figurines, seated in a circle, was found at a pre-Cucuteni village site in northeastern Romania. “It is not difficult to imagine,” said Douglass W. Bailey of San Francisco State University, the Old Europe people “arranging sets of seated figurines into one or several groups of miniature activities, perhaps with the smaller figurines at the feet or even on the laps of the larger, seated ones.”

    Others imagined the figurines as the “Council of Goddesses.” In her influential books three decades ago, Marija Gimbutas, an anthropologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, offered these and other so-called Venus figurines as representatives of divinities in cults to a Mother Goddess that reigned in prehistoric Europe.

    Although the late Dr. Gimbutas still has an ardent following, many scholars hew to more conservative, nondivine explanations. The power of the objects, Dr. Bailey said, was not in any specific reference to the divine, but in “a shared understanding of group identity.”

    As Dr. Bailey wrote in the exhibition catalog, the figurines should perhaps be defined only in terms of their actual appearance: miniature, representational depictions of the human form. He thus “assumed (as is justified by our knowledge of human evolution) that the ability to make, use and understand symbolic objects such as figurines is an ability that is shared by all modern humans and thus is a capability that connects you, me, Neolithic men, women and children, and the Paleolithic painters in caves.”

    Or else the “Thinker,” for instance, is the image of you, me, the archaeologists and historians confronted and perplexed by a “lost” culture in southeastern Europe that had quite a go with life back before a single word was written or a wheel turned.

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    Cool article. As I was reading along, the whole time I was thinking about Marija Gimbutas, but she was briefly mentioned at the end despite being the one who coined the term "Old Europe". She did a great deal to contribute to this area of study, but is perhaps given less recognition after an essential aspect of her theory appears to have been discredited. She postulated that "Old Europe" was a peace loving world of a Goddess worshiping culture of communal hippie types who opposed war and were socially egalitarian. This has been largely disproven, but there still is evidence of Goddess worship. She also postulated the concept of the Kurgan Hypothesis, the theory of patriarchal Indeo-European migrations from Central Asia that displaced Old Europe culture. This probably holds a lot of a weight in the area of linguistics.

    I found this particularly interesting when viewing the potential relevance of the anomalous Basque languages. For the Basque language is not an Indo-European langauge, it may perhaps be the last remnants of Old Europe linguistics. But this will always be difficult to totally verify because there's nothing else to really compare it to. Also within Europe are Finnish and Hungarian languages that are also non Indo-European but their origins may be of a different Eastern ilk.


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    link
    avatar
    Extant
    Brown Belt
    Brown Belt

    Number of posts : 555
    Registration date : 2009-04-04
    Location : The Forge

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Extant on Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:27 pm

    Daily Telegraph: Oliver Stone suggests Hitler is 'easy scapegoat'

    Stone, who has previously been accused of promoting conspiracy theories and glorifying violence in his films, has made a new documentary series which he says will place historical figures including Hitler and Stalin "in context".

    In the trailer for "The Secret History of America" the director says: "You cannot approach history unless you have empathy for the person you may hate."

    He told a press conference at the Television Critics Association in California that "we can't judge people as only 'bad' or 'good'".

    "Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and it's been used cheaply. He's the product of a series of actions. It's cause and effect," he said.

    The director claimed many people in America did not understand the connection between the First World War and the Second World War and said his intention was to broaden minds, delving into the funding of the Nazi party and how American corporations were involved in it.

    Stone said he did not want to make an "easy" history programme and talked about trying to understand people he despises. His series will aim to uncover little reported facts that shaped the modern United States.

    Professor Peter Kuznick, the lead writer on the series, said the programme would not portray Hitler in a more positive light, but would describe him as a historical phenomenon rather than "somebody who appeared out of nowhere".

    Stone has courted controversy before, most notably in his film JFK which suggested a high level conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.

    He has also polarised opinion with controversial films about President George W Bush, and Fidel Castro, the former Cuban leader.

    Stone said his latest series would show history from an internationalist, rather than an American, point of view. That included a "complete other story" about how Stalin had fought against the German war machine more than anyone.

    The director said he fully expected to face a backlash from conservative pundits.

    He said: "Obviously, Rush Limbaugh is not going to like this history and, as usual, we're going to get those kind of ignorant attacks." Stone, 63, who won Oscars for directing Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July, also won a Purple Heart for his own military service in Vietnam.
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Lucid Memes on Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:23 pm

    Oliver Stone at it again lol. I liked his movie "JFK" and respected his audacity in depicting a homosexual "Alexander the Great" (even though the movie was pretty terrible). I haven't seen "W." but would like to when I get around to it.

    And I like what he said here, "Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and it's been used cheaply. He's the product of a series of actions. It's cause and effect," This is true...but if Hitler is a product of cause and effect, then so is everything else. Even Oliver Stones comment about cause and effect is a product of cause and effect...even our posts right now are too lol.

    But without getting too philosophical, I think Stone is getting to the point of an often overlooked aspect of history. That the culture of the Anglo-American establishment was rabidly eugenical, and the growing power of the German industrialize nation, was following in their footsteps and trying to gain access in a seat of the establishment's table as they grew into the 20th century. I'm familiar with some of the information Stone is citing when he mentions corporate America's involvement with the Nazi's. See this:
    War Against the Weak

    How American corporate philanthropies launched a national campaign of ethnic cleansing in the United States, helped found and fund the Nazi eugenics of Hitler and Mengele — and then created the modern movement of "human genetics."


    In the first three decades of the 20th Century, American corporate philanthropy combined with prestigious academic fraud to create the pseudoscience eugenics that institutionalized race politics as national policy. The goal: create a superior, white, Nordic race and obliterate the viability of everyone else.

    How? By identifying so-called "defective" family trees and subjecting them to legislated segregation and sterilization programs. The victims: poor people, brown-haired white people, African Americans, immigrants, Indians, Eastern European Jews, the infirm and really anyone classified outside the superior genetic lines drawn up by American raceologists. The main culprits were the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune, in league with America's most respected scientists hailing from such prestigious universities as Harvard, Yale and Princeton, operating out of a complex at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island. The eugenic network worked in tandem with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the State Department and numerous state governmental bodies and legislatures throughout the country, and even the U.S. Supreme Court. They were all bent on breeding a eugenically superior race, just as agronomists would breed better strains of corn. The plan was to wipe away the reproductive capability of the weak and inferior.

    Ultimately, 60,000 Americans were coercively sterilized — legally and extra-legally. Many never discovered the truth until decades later. Those who actively supported eugenics include America's most progressive figures: Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger and Oliver Wendell Holmes.

    American eugenic crusades proliferated into a worldwide campaign, and in the 1920s came to the attention of Adolf Hitler. Under the Nazis, American eugenic principles were applied without restraint, careening out of control into the Reich's infamous genocide. During the pre-War years, American eugenicists openly supported Germany's program. The Rockefeller Foundation financed the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute and the work of its central racial scientists. Once WWII began, Nazi eugenics turned from mass sterilization and euthanasia to genocidal murder. One of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute doctors in the program financed by the Rockefeller Foundation was Josef Mengele who continued his research in Auschwitz, making daily eugenic reports on twins. After the world recoiled from Nazi atrocities, the American eugenics movement — its institutions and leading scientists — renamed and regrouped under the banner of an enlightened science called human genetics.

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    link
    avatar
    Lucid Memes
    Red Belt
    Red Belt

    Number of posts : 1111
    Registration date : 2009-02-12
    Location : Here Be Dragons

    Edwin Black's Lecture on the Energy Crisis and Possible Solutions

    Post by Lucid Memes on Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:15 pm

    Edwin Black, the author of the book "[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]" also specializes in understanding the resource/energy transitions throughout human history. He brings up a lot of interesting topics in this lecture.

    Here's a summary of the book Internal Combustion
    Black's fifth nonfiction book was Internal Combustion, published in 2006, documenting how society never needed to fuel its industrial expansion on oil, and how rulers, governments and corporations have subverted the alternatives. The book accomplishes this by chronicling the history of fuel and transportation from the beginning of recorded times to the modern day. Extensive use is made of archives and obscure research in this highly footnoted work.

    Black shows that wood was the original fuel, and this made it the most valuable commodity on earth, tightly controlled by monarchs, and subject to special "forest laws." Eventually, industrializing civilizations such as Great Britain exhausted their timber supply. When they could no longer invade other lands to acquire more woodlands, these countries turned to an "alternative fuel," mainly coal. Black writes that the rise of coal ushered in the first OPEC-style international fuel cartel, the Hostmen of Newcastle, which manipulated supply and demand, and pressured societies at will to achieve their goals and economic objectives. Coal led to trains, and trains necessitated batteries to operate telegraphs over great distances.

    Black writes that when in about 1835 electricity was employed to power horseless carriages, the automobile was born. The author then traces the history of the automobile throughout the 1800s and eventually at the turn of the 20th century when vehicles were battery-powered to an abrupt conversion to internal combustion in the years before World War I. Black documents that eventually, in the first two decades on the 20th century, the corporate forces that controlled the electric car retired it in favor of internal combustion, which was considered more "manly" and profitable than the electric car.

    The book reveals a heretofore unknown 1912 project by Henry Ford and Thomas Edison to switch the nation back to electric cars, but the project was subverted by corporate opposition, suspicious accidents, and a devastating fire at Edison's factory. Black then documents the combine of five corporations led by General Motors to purchase several dozen trolley systems, destroy them, and replace them with oil-burning buses, using a front company called National City Lines. Eventually, the federal government prosecuted and convicted GM of criminal conspiracy, a conviction which was upheld by the Supreme Court. Calling upon previously unknown prosecution records and the court file itself, Black documents the realities of what had been termed an urban legend but was in fact authentic. At the same time, Black shows, GM was collaborating with the Adolf Hitler regime to motorize the Third Reich in preparation for war. The book concludes with a forward look into oil alternatives such as natural gas, electric and hydrogen.

    Internal Combustion received four major awards, including outstanding book of the year from the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Rockower Award for investigative reporting, the Green Globes, and the Thomas Edison Award.

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


    _________________
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    link

    Sponsored content

    Re: Historical figures and events

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:47 am