10. The Old World Empires

10.7 Byzantium and Islam: the religious empires

In 410 AD, Alaric and his Goths plundered Rome. This is considered to be the end of Rome but there is no comparison between this sack and that suffered by Peking, which was laid waste by the Nomad. The Roman Empire was reconstituted thereafter into the two successor states of Byzantium and Persia, while the western part was lost to Barbarians (fig. 10.32).


Figure 10.32. Persia was a Nomad empire. Byzantium and Persia fought bitterly and weakened each other to such a point that Persia easily fell prey to the Nomad Arabs, after their conversion to Islam.

During a millenary, the Byzantine Empire was the only organized, strong and lawful entity existing on earth, where people of diverse origins could strive in dignity. This dignity as human beings was supported by the Orthodox Faith that claimed the uniqueness of every single human being in the eyes of God. The difficulty of the Orthodox Empire in civilizing barbarians by action at the spiritual level was that acceptance of the Orthodox faith meant political submission to the Basileus. The Semitic Arabs elaborated another version of the message of Christ, Islam, on which they relied to conquer the Empire.

The colonial Empire (fig. 10.33) initiated by Mohammed succeeded in controlling the Berbers but was arrested in its march towards the East by Chinese armies in the Fergana, in 715 AD. Also, Islam failed before Byzantium in 717 and again in 739. Finally, their conquest of contending Neolithic tribes was halted in France at Poitiers, in 732 AD.


Figure 10.33. The colonial Empire

The independent Germans were able to develop an original Neolithic culture sustained by a high religion and irradiated by Islamic and Byzantine civilizations. This original European culture was able to develop because Byzantium protected Europe during 500 years from the destructive incursions of Nomads.

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