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Posted: 4/20/2017 3:49:50 PM EST
Was watching something while getting ready for work, in which multiple people suggested that the rift in European culture today goes back to the Teutoberg Forest, in which Quintillius Varus' legions were massacred in something like 9 A.D. (?). The hypothesis is that this caused Rome to pull back and maintain the Rhine as it's northern border from then largely until it's collapse, centuries later. Thus, we see a northern european culture, following those who remained unconquered by Rome and thus did not benefit from it's learning and technology. This northern culture today remains somewhat separated from the mediterranean culture, which alternatively, did benefit from Rome. 

I am not experienced in european culture anywhere near enough to make any conjecture, so I put it forth to GD to discuss.

And it's something to discuss that's not 4/20 or Hernandez or Russia. 
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 3:52:47 PM EST
I would guess that most of the impacts are overshadowed by things like the Holy Roman Empire, Reformation, Counter-Reformation, French Revolutionary Wars, WWI, WWII, Cold War, etc.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 3:56:09 PM EST
Where the sword failed to unit Europe, the Cross and the Church did it with the word.

Until Martin Luther came along and they started killing each other since God was on their side.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 3:57:51 PM EST
The food is certainly better below the Rhine.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 3:58:49 PM EST
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Originally Posted By 4v50:
Where the sword failed to unit Europe, the Cross and the Church did it with the word.

Until Martin Luther came along and they started killing each other since God was on their side.
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The cross and the church weren't shy about using the sword, either.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:02:31 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Lawless_Flogic:


The cross and the church weren't shy about using the sword, either.
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Hush you about the truth or I will smite you with either a mace (proper weapon for a priest who could not wield a sword) or the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:02:39 PM EST
It's funny that the thought is southern Europe benefited from Rome while northern Europe did not in that scenario, considering both this countries previous preferences regarding European immigration and the quality/stability of countries and economies on the north/south European divide in the modern era.

I think any divide in Europe on the north south level has much more to do with recent history like the Reformation and subsequent development of Catholic and Protestant dominated countries than who was on the wrong side of the Roman civilization border. YMMV.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:03:01 PM EST
Northern Europeans are more advanced, harder working and favored by God.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:04:37 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:06:42 PM EST
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Originally Posted By RustedAce:


If anything that would say Roman influence was pretty awful since mediterranean culture is.
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I mean, if you exclude Greece, the Balkans, Italy, Spain, North Africa, the Levant, and Turkey, the mediterranean region is doing great!
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:07:47 PM EST
Meanwhile the richest countries in Europe are definitely not in the Mediterranean...
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:13:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/20/2017 4:18:14 PM EST by RichJ]
Seems like whatever advantage in learning or culture that was gained from Roman occupation would be a mute point since once the Roman Empire fell, everything everywhere went to shit anyway and was lost during the Dark Ages.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:13:33 PM EST
It's easy to be lazy when the weather is nice.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:19:00 PM EST
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Originally Posted By RichJ:
Seems like what ever advantage in learning or culture that was gained from Roman occupation would be a mute point once the Roman Empire fell, since everything everywhere when to shit anyway and was lost during the Dark Ages.
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Moot.

And the "dark ages" wasn't the shitty, knowledge losing era it's portrayed to be either.

It's basically the mythological "Wild West" of Europe.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:25:03 PM EST
The Battle of Teutoburg Forest 9 AD

https://youtu.be/A3jSjknuUG0
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:34:51 PM EST
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Originally Posted By 74novaman:


Moot.

And the "dark ages" wasn't the shitty, knowledge losing era it's portrayed to be either.

It's basically the mythological "Wild West" of Europe.
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No, the "dark ages" really were the shitty knowledge losing era. We know more about the events in 1st Century AD than we do 800 AD.

Literacy was common place during the Roman Empire and had vanished except in the clergy by 800. 20% of the population of Europe was urban in 300 AD, and 1% was urban in 800 AD. Rome went from a population of over a million to less than 50,000. The Colliseum went from hosting crowds of 50,000 watching gladiators duke it out to where people grazed their goats and dumped their trash.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:41:37 PM EST
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Originally Posted By RustedAce:


If anything that would say Roman influence was pretty awful since mediterranean culture is.
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Well, depends on your point of view. If you're the one eating, sleeping and carousing your life away on the backs of others, it's probably pretty damn nice. 
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:42:41 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Drakich:


No, the "dark ages" really were the shitty knowledge losing era. We know more about the events in 1st Century AD than we do 800 AD.

Literacy was common place during the Roman Empire and had vanished except in the clergy by 800. 20% of the population of Europe was urban in 300 AD, and 1% was urban in 800 AD. Rome went from a population of over a million to less than 50,000. The Colliseum went from hosting crowds of 50,000 watching gladiators duke it out to where people grazed their goats and dumped their trash.
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And now it's full of 'enlightened' commies
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:45:43 PM EST
It's an argument. I don't know that it's a good one.

Much of what is popularly believed about European history is just plain wrong, from the effect of "Rome's civilizing influence..." to the darkness of the Dark Ages. Not to mention, the distortions imposed by the nationalistic views of the various countries, who talk such shit that it's not even really identifiable as to what is true, and what is utter bullshit.

Teutoburg was important; how it was important is arguable. What may be more important to the differences between North and South Europe are down to cultural things stemming from marriage customs and a lot of other shit.

There's something called the "Hajnal Line", that cuts across Europe; on one side, you've got earlier marriages and more family support structures. On the other, you've got late marriage, and a much more mature population. Some of this may be an effect of the "delayed gratification" behavioral pattern, where a child that can put off enjoying pleasures today for advantage tomorrow is generally going to be more successful in later life. Spread across a culture, this effect probably has some relevance to the issues you're observing, and because the line happens to coincide with a lot of the same lines produced by Teutoburg, well... You get the drift.

Anything in culture/history is prone to misattribution; what may be observed and assumed to be an effect of one thing may indeed not even be related. Correlation does not equal causation, in other words...

Rome wasn't the great thing a lot of folks assume; the inimical influence of the robber-baron nature of its culture, and the destruction it wrought on the Celts across Gaul and other parts of Europe aren't necessarily the great things our historians assume. For one thing, the straight-jacket that Rome put Europe into, and then used to domesticate the population probably did more damage than we know, and left them ripe for exploitation by invading outsiders, who were partially welcomed because they "broke the chains" Rome had forged. You can't forget that Rome set itself into a stasis from the time of Diocletian, when he imposed strict price controls and locked sons into their father's trades. As well, he set the stage for serfdom under later periods by locking peasants to the land...

All told? I think there's a definite line across Europe, but what the hell caused it? Your guess is as good as mine; some of my ancestors were North European, some weren't. The ones who weren't were culturally contiguous with those Northerners, though, because they were French Huguenots from down south who were earlier Cathars (we think...), and whose cultural traits didn't fit in with the rest of Southern France. It's kind of like how the French-speaking Swiss are more like the Germans than they are French, and answering why that is would go a long way towards answering your question...

To a degree, I think that climate plays a role. Live in an environment that requires forethought, planning, and preparation to survive the winter? You're going to wind up with a much different culture than if you live in a climate that doesn't kill you when you fail to prepare. The line you're talking about is pretty much right along that climate zone boundary, and the further north you go, the more deadly the consequences are for failing to prepare.

My guess is that the eventual course of things will see the Swedish migrant problem evaporate within generations, once the government quits supporting failure and granting welfare status to the lazy-ass migrants they've inflicted on themselves. And, that the culture of those migrants that survive will become a lot different from what it was, as it adapts to the conditions of the North.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 4:53:01 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Drakich:


No, the "dark ages" really were the shitty knowledge losing era. We know more about the events in 1st Century AD than we do 800 AD.

Literacy was common place during the Roman Empire and had vanished except in the clergy by 800. 20% of the population of Europe was urban in 300 AD, and 1% was urban in 800 AD. Rome went from a population of over a million to less than 50,000. The Colliseum went from hosting crowds of 50,000 watching gladiators duke it out to where people grazed their goats and dumped their trash.
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A lot of what you describe started well before the "barbarians" invaded. Analyzing why Rome "fell" is something that you really need a multi-volume work to explore--The Coliseum you bemoan being empty of spectators was something that happened well before the fall of Rome, when the masses Christianized and gladiatorial contests went out of style.

As well, literacy? LOL... I don't think we have a really good handle on what the literacy rate even was, in Roman times. Certainly, it wasn't as low as it got, but... Again, we don't know. Just like we don't know what the hell it was during the early years after the "fall". Which wasn't so much a "fall" as a general collapse more like what happened after the Soviet Union fell apart, and everything lost its connections.

Hell, come to think of it, the fall of the Soviet Union probably has more points of commonality with the "fall of Rome" than most people might assume, on first glance. A large part of what happened to Rome was simply that people ceased to believe in it, and the common culture--Things that are going on around us here-and-now in America, if you look at a lot of what is happening. The "barbarian tribal invasions" weren't so much invasions as they were a withdrawal of Imperial forces, and the locals going over to the new overlords who were offering lower taxes, better social mobility, and more actual security than Rome did.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 6:27:11 PM EST
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Originally Posted By 4v50:
Where the sword failed to unit Europe, the Cross and the Church did it with the word.

Until Martin Luther came along and they started killing each other since God was on their side.
View Quote
Yeah I'm going to agree and also say that the Thirty Years War has far more to do with why Europe looks the way it does now than a battle fought over 2,000 years ago. The Thirty Years War brought devastation to Europe the likes of which it hadn't seen since the Mongols or the Black Plague, and some of the aftershocks of that war lead to everything from the Pilgrims being a thing and coming to North America to helping set up a chain of events that made the Austro-Hungarian Empire be the tinderbox that eventually lead to WWI which is the defining war of the millennium and which we're still dealing with the effects.

Gustavus Adolphus getting killed in an otherwise meaningless cavalry skirmish had more to do with the state of modern Europe than Teuotoberg in my opinion. If he had lived Europe (northern Europe and Germany especially) would have looked a lot different, and probably for the better.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 6:29:49 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Fulminata:

Yeah I'm going to agree and also say that the Thirty Years War has far more to do with why Europe looks the way it does now than a battle fought over 2,000 years ago. The Thirty Years War brought devastation to Europe the likes of which it hadn't seen since the Mongols or the Black Plague, and some of the aftershocks of that war lead to everything from the Pilgrims being a thing and coming to North America to helping set up a chain of events that made the Austro-Hungarian Empire be the tinderbox that eventually lead to WWI which is the defining war of the millennium and which we're still dealing with the effects.

Gustavus Adolphus getting killed in an otherwise meaningless cavalry skirmish had more to do with the state of modern Europe than Teuotoberg in my opinion. If he had lived Europe (northern Europe and Germany especially) would have looked a lot different, and probably for the better.
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Agree on the 30 Years War being dramatically more important than people think it is.

The German obsession with fighting on two fronts in the 20th century starts to make a lot more sense when seen through the lens of the 30 Years War.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 7:04:56 PM EST
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Originally Posted By 74novaman:


Agree on the 30 Years War being dramatically more important than people think it is.

The German obsession with fighting on two fronts in the 20th century starts to make a lot more sense when seen through the lens of the 30 Years War.
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Quite a few pieces of the German psyche can be traced back to that war.

Back in the '80s one of my teachers was dismissive that the East Germans would actually fight the West Germans if the balloon went up, he thought that it was inconceivable that people who just a generation or two before were the same people would be able to do that. I rather strongly disagreed, and pointed out that there were soldiers (and even generals) in the Thirty Years War who changed sides more than once and had no compunction about fighting their former comrades, sometimes even the very units they were in/or commanded; Germans go all in when they find a cause, but they're also changeable and will change sides with a zeal if they think it's proper to. Hell, Patton would likely have had less problems to deal with from former-Wehrmacht officers commanding troops under him in 1945 had things gone differently with the Soviets than he actually had with many American ones.

He didn't really have a response to that except to ask me how the hell I even knew what the Thirty Years War was, well basically it always interested me because one of my great-(insert a few more greats here) grandfathers was a Scottish cavalryman in the Swedish army in Germany during the Thirty Years War. Because Scots will go anywhere if there's a fight and booze, and while Germans aren't Englishmen I guess he figured they'd do.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 7:24:10 PM EST
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Originally Posted By bloatingfloater:
It's easy to be lazy when the weather is nice.
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That is actually a very profound statement.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 7:29:24 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 7:40:25 PM EST
If the Germans had killed Hitler in the fall of 44 and offered to put German units under American command to go east Patton could have rowed a boat to America when it was done.
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 12:39:02 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Fulminata:
Yeah I'm going to agree and also say that the Thirty Years War has far more to do with why Europe looks the way it does now than a battle fought over 2,000 years ago. The Thirty Years War brought devastation to Europe the likes of which it hadn't seen since the Mongols or the Black Plague, and some of the aftershocks of that war lead to everything from the Pilgrims being a thing and coming to North America to helping set up a chain of events that made the Austro-Hungarian Empire be the tinderbox that eventually lead to WWI which is the defining war of the millennium and which we're still dealing with the effects.

Gustavus Adolphus getting killed in an otherwise meaningless cavalry skirmish had more to do with the state of modern Europe than Teuotoberg in my opinion. If he had lived Europe (northern Europe and Germany especially) would have looked a lot different, and probably for the better.
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Originally Posted By Fulminata:
Originally Posted By 4v50:
Where the sword failed to unit Europe, the Cross and the Church did it with the word.

Until Martin Luther came along and they started killing each other since God was on their side.
Yeah I'm going to agree and also say that the Thirty Years War has far more to do with why Europe looks the way it does now than a battle fought over 2,000 years ago. The Thirty Years War brought devastation to Europe the likes of which it hadn't seen since the Mongols or the Black Plague, and some of the aftershocks of that war lead to everything from the Pilgrims being a thing and coming to North America to helping set up a chain of events that made the Austro-Hungarian Empire be the tinderbox that eventually lead to WWI which is the defining war of the millennium and which we're still dealing with the effects.

Gustavus Adolphus getting killed in an otherwise meaningless cavalry skirmish had more to do with the state of modern Europe than Teuotoberg in my opinion. If he had lived Europe (northern Europe and Germany especially) would have looked a lot different, and probably for the better.
Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 12:44:25 PM EST
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Originally Posted By RichJ:
Seems like whatever advantage in learning or culture that was gained from Roman occupation would be a mute point since once the Roman Empire fell, everything everywhere went to shit anyway and was lost during the Dark Ages.
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Uh, no.
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 12:50:26 PM EST
I would argue that the limits on Roman expansion due to that battle as well as the later limit on Muslim expansion in 732 both had significant consequences.

A small correction early on has big results later on if it isn't cancelled out.
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 12:58:01 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Drakich:
No, the "dark ages" really were the shitty knowledge losing era. We know more about the events in 1st Century AD than we do 800 AD.
.
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Originally Posted By Drakich:
Originally Posted By 74novaman:


Moot.

And the "dark ages" wasn't the shitty, knowledge losing era it's portrayed to be either.

It's basically the mythological "Wild West" of Europe.
No, the "dark ages" really were the shitty knowledge losing era. We know more about the events in 1st Century AD than we do 800 AD.
.
Renaissance era claptrap pushed just so the Italians can pretend they contributed something unique to Western Civilization after the fall of Rome.
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 1:04:25 PM EST
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Originally Posted By helmet91:
Meanwhile the richest countries in Europe are definitely not in the Mediterranean...
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Link Posted: 4/21/2017 1:15:14 PM EST
What is also interesting about this argument is that you can use a lot of the same historical data and cultural background to make the claim that the reason the Southern European areas and states are so generally fck'd up is because of the inimical influence of the Roman slave-based economy and culture...

Say what you will about the "primitive Germanic tribes", but they didn't base their agriculture and economy on vast slave-operated latifundia or other similar slave-based enterprises, either. Features of Roman practice that go a long way towards explaining why regions like Sicily and Southern Italy are as FUBAR as they are, today. The Roman practice of petty nobility establishing clientele rings starts to look a lot like Mafia practices, once you start stripping away the identification details like dates and names.

I'm not at all in agreement that the Romans were a "force of civilization" in the ancient world, either--They did a lot of things that were impressive, and transmitted a lot of Greek and Eastern culture to the European areas, but... Jeez, when you add it all up? They fck'd a lot of other shit up, as well. The list of things that the Romans despoiled or outright destroyed in the ancient world is mind-boggling, when you look at the breadth of it. Celtic culture is only one issue--We might have some slight clue what the hell all those megaliths in Europe really are, absent the Roman destruction of the Druids, which when you get down to it, amounted to a cultural genocide. Which I'll agree might be argued as being a net good, but we just don't know--Mainly because the Romans did a pretty thorough job of destroying it.
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