This sound change wasn't shared by Oscan, Umbrian, or Faliscan -- compare Faliscan "carefo" to Latin "carebo", and Oscan "mefiaí" to Latin "mediae".
Michael Weiss, Outline of the Historical and Comparative Grammar of Latin. Beech Stave Pr Inc (December 31, 2009).
You seem to know a lot about language and Latin in particular.
I studied Latin in school, and I am still a curious reader. Would you have online resources, or books, to recommend for someone like me who'd like to stay up to date with recent research?
Rome certainly was a highly advanced society in its time, but what a shame to think that because of vast abundance of slaves the Roman society never pushed further with technological innovations, effectively preventing the human race from having mobile phones by the year 1000, if not earlier.
Some argue that with less slaves an industrial revolution might have triggered much earlier, and Roman society was certainly ingenious enough to push the boundaries if there ever was a need to do so.
Imho I think the use of coal for heat allowed colder climates to get going faster than those area where heat wasn't as needed. Shorter growing seasons may also have meant more available manpower. Scotland before England. New York before Mississippi. Europe before Africa.
Not true, Britain had no slaves and it industrialized just fine. You have to feed,house and clothe slaves while "Free" people cost you nothing at all except the cost of labor. Room and board is a greater cost than just an hourly rate. Slavery inhibits industrialization, not enables it.
Compare the free states of the Union vs the slave states of the Confederacy. The free states rapidly industrialized from 1800-1860, the slave states did not and pretty much did not advance economically at all.
Investors tend to invest in things they know about and can keep an eye on, which tends to be local. Investment capital uniformly fleeing the slave states to the free ones suggests that investing in slave states was a bad investment.
In those days, different states were like different countries today.
There's also the climate of the South to consider — until the invention of air-conditioning, factory work in the South would have been at a significant disadvantage. Malaria, too, was an issue within living memory.
People don't realise nowadays how very inhospitable warm climates can be.
The South didn't even have a shoe factory.
Really, how productive can a workforce be that can't read, that have to be forced to do anything, that will not contribute any improvements, that have to be guarded at all times, that will sabotage the work if they can get away with it, etc.?
How productive would you be if you were a slave?
Slavery is a terrible economic system when compared with free labor. It isn't remotely a surprise that free economies economically bury slave economies.
> but it is still recovering from
I.e. slavery did not benefit the Indian economy, nor the Kenyan economy, etc. Neither industrialized.
The US economy did industrialize (except for the slave states), and did not rely on slave labor from other countries, either, and it grew to economic dominance.
I know there's a theory that the northern economy depended on the southern slave economy, but when it was cut off from the southern economy in 1860, it prospered while the slave economy crashed.
The Confederacy crashed economically because they tried to pull a 19th century equivalent of the Arab Oil Embargo, cutting off their main export crop in the hopes of compelling Europe to intervene. The Confederacy suffered from what we'd call in modern times the resource curse--ironically, one enabled entirely by industrialization.
Right, obviously. The reason why Britain invaded is because they wanted India and Kenya to work for Britain. Slavery benefited Britain.
1. Science (had been picking up steam for a few centuries)
2. Capital (wealth from the colonies had been piling up for centuries as well)
3. Public demand for goods (you're not just selling to the prince, you are selling to everyone).
4. Several countries with legal systems and professional courts that upheld the law and facilitated binding legal agreements.
5. Political system that did not overrule the courts just because the king needed a bit more money
After these preconditions were in place, I think one of the triggers in the industrialized age was the expanding market demand for goods. If the demand is low, there is very little incentive to move beyond human artisanal labour (ahem, artisanal mining, ahem).
Global population in year zero was estimated at 200-300 million. That jumpted to 700-800 million in 1700 and 900M to 1 billion in 1800.
Sure the city of Rome hit 1 million people early, but that took an empire to sustain. At the start of the industrial revolution several cities where about that large.
PS: The Roman Empire covered a lot of land, but it's population was somwere between modern day South Korea and Germany. And all that distance dramatically slowed down communication.
Thanks for the reminder!
The idea of a Dark Ages is largely a north-western European one because we got largely cut off from Rome for a few centuries. In Italy and France, and especially in the Byzantine Empire there was no Dark Age. Technological progress didn't stop and slavery was no longer a major sociological or economic factor.
This only improved when the Mediterranean coastal cities managed to build up enough military strength to ensure a reasonable degree of safety over pirate-infested sea routes, "rebooting" the economic landscape. Their contacts with the now-consolidated Islamic states eventually resulted in the "rediscovery" of classical knowledge, that Islamic scholars had preserved (and built upon) in superior ways.
It's true that there was some technological progress even during the Middle Ages, but it was largely limited to immediately-practical purposes: agriculture and war.
Slavery was still an important economic factor in the early middle ages ("Dark ages").
"By ...(741–752), Venice had established a thriving slave trade, buying in Italy, and selling to the Moors in Northern Africa. .. Caravans of slaves traveled from Eastern Europe, through Alpine passes in Austria, to reach Venice."
I would say we might have reached mobile phones a little earlier if the Mongels had not laid waste to a lot of the world's population, specifically the very scientifically advanced Islamic world. But even then, how much could we have skipped?
The Roman's would probably never have had any desire to explore the sea leading to the invention of the naval chronometer, and all the important advances that brought about (edit: towards the end they could barely manage the land empire they had, and they were not seafarers)
Islamic culture did preserve some of the old Greek scholarship, but real science didn't get started until after their Golden age was past.
We who've read our history form western sources just aren't generally aware of them because we usually write the names of the most famous ones in latin form (e.g. Avicenna).
It's fascinating to see the interplay of science from different geographies - that Al-Kindi started by learning and translating Greek science and then that we primarily know him through others translation of his works to Latin. Al-Kwarizmi is a well known name in the West from the same Persian scientific community (I think he was perhaps head of the House of Wisdom whilst Al-Kindi was there).
a) Scientists came from a wide variety of backgrounds, but were usually of Muslim faith. For example, the term "Middle East" would not be accurate since many scholars were Persian and West Asian.
b) Scholars were typically funded by patrons who were associated with the Muslim empire/caliphate.
c) To a lesser extent, many of the prominent scholars first learned Islamic science and philosophy -- typically at a young age -- before delving into the natural sciences.
Wikipedia mentions scientists who were historically - and are elsewhere - known for their Christian faith, priests and such but without mentioning that they were Christian believers but with scientists who were living in Islamic countries [I don't know the history to know if they, for example were Imams or wrote religious treatise] they're flagged as Muslims. Copernicus/Kepler/Brahe [I didn't check further] aren't claimed to be Christian, Al-Kindi is claimed in the first sentence as a Muslim amongst Muslim scholars, in a Muslim World, etc..
Any input on historic differences, IYO, that lead to these different characterisations?
Islam on the other hand is not a religion concerned with changing the existing order - its founder was not a martyred revolutionary but a successful political entity. Where Christianity advocates separation of church and state, Islam sets forward a system for religious governance.
Therefore, while both Christian and Islamic scholars generally got their education in their respective religious traditions, I think Christian scholars were seen as breaking with the past in part because that kind of behavior is celebrated in Christianity, while Islamic scholars were seen as being involved in their political processes because that is celebrated in Islam.
This is a hugely low-church protestant viewpoint. That 'monarchic system' you refer to was indeed intended to be the administration of the 'just order' which was founded by the 'revolutionary figure' of Jesus. Just because the protestants viewed the western Christian regime as corrupt, doesn't mean it wasn't at least philosophically aligned with such a viewpoint (see also "Holy Roman Empire", etc.). And although the reformers are happy to paint those adhering to this regieme as non-christian, it doesn't mean they actually were not so (either in reality or philosopically, according to ones analysis)
> Islam on the other hand is not a religion concerned with changing the existing order
Isn't a major tenet of islam restoring the people of god from the apostasy of the jews and of christians, etc?
> Where Christianity advocates separation of church and state,
Again, hugely post-enlightenment protestant viewpoint. Non-protestant Christianity, not just in the west under the roman pontiff (again, holy roman empire), but everywhere that it was not dominated by the islamic conquest viewed church and state as two distinct entities administering to the two different aspects of a single society (spiritual and temporal) in concert (see also 'holy russia', etc).
Christianity, as a body, does not do this. Christianity, until very recently, has usually—whether Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant—either been or sought to be established, and even in places where separation of church and state is established principle of civil law large bbodiesof Christianity often fairly overtly rejects that separation except to the extent it is being applied to protect their community from the dictate of a government inclined towards other preferences.
Sometimes, sometimes not. Clearly not the case in late imperial Russia, or in the Papal States, or in much of pre-Gregorian western Christianity where local bishops were effectively appointed by and subordinate to local lay rulers, etc.
Mostly disagree with this characterization of christianity. Christianity was first a small cultish endeavour amalgamizing judaistic and greek cultures. Then it suddenly replaced roman state religion, with church fathers taking strong political leadership within the religions domain. The roman state religion was always a part of keeping the empire in cohesion. This same political intent was laid onto christianity.
So, where Islam gained prominence as the administrative creed of an arabian trade town, christianity rose to prominence as part of the administrative structure of an empire.
Only after a millenia protestants started to question the papal authority. Martin Luther and his ideas survived because the german princes wanted to undermine catholic churches authority. While definetly NOT toppling their own. Luther was vehemently anti-revolutionary, saying rebelious peasants should be severely punished.
Most flavors of christianity are not about toppling old regimes but supporting them. The rebelious sects like the huguenots were vehemently persecuted.
The more rebellious sects only started thriving in the american colonies.
Religions have two aspects - the literary context, and the context of the religion as it is practiced. When we look at these combined, Christianity at the large is a religion that supports and co-exists with the existing power structure rather than is overtly "rebellious". In the historical, and the modern context both. With the exception of North America and various evangelical sects spread through the globe.
To my understanding, in Islam the literary and the practical context match pretty well, as Quran was written as a sort of mystical field manual of administration and religious practice, in a very specific political situation. While the ideas expressed in the text are partly ancient, the body of work itself is only as old as the religion . I agree up to a point - Islam is more like an administrators device than Christianity.
Christianity, on the other hand, in its' holy book combines a selected collection of ancient Judaistic texts with the content of the new testament. The tradition of religious practice evolved only after the texts were compiled  - which was upheld to be critical part of the religion for a millenia. Protestants seemingly denied the importance of tradition but actually just replaced it with their own culture of practice .
As for the protestants' "rebellious nature" - that really wasn't. Unless protestantianism existed harmoniously with the existing power structrure it was crushed. One of the culminations of this tension was the 30 years war .
Yes, the ideas of protestantianism rose from deep conviction and the moral impetus to overthrow old concepts. But practically it could only succeed when it co-existed and co-operated with the earthly power structure. (Hence, we get the protestant state churches in various countries .)
Or it could escape the old society all together ... to the new world.
Christianity in the North-America is quite a different thing than as practiced in the old world. The various sects that were persecuted in europe found home there and could thrive in relative freedom.
The critical part about this is that there was no state church. You could choose your religious community based on your conscience. Hence, I presume the evangelical aspects of Christianity can be more highlighed there. A considerable portion of the progenitors of North American christianity were the rebels, with no deep ties to the political power structure.
In Europe, the Church and the State ruled hand in hand for over a millenia, and only now this co-operation is starting to fragment. First the Catholic church with it's blood ties to the aristocracy, and then the protestant state churches herded the masses.
Especially in the first millenia, to large extent the church and state officers came from the same families. First sons of noble houses inherited the land, while the some of the later sons became priests. The main reason for the vows of selibacy was to stop a secondary church-based hereditary power structure from rising next to the feudal aristocracy.
"Resemblance to Hellenistic cults are superficial."
I was mainly referring to the philosophical and literary content of the new testament as it matches fairly well with the ethics of the greek philosophers.
As for the mystical content - I would claim the resemblance to older non-judaistic tradition is far deeper than superficial. For example for the worship of Virgin Mary, the image of the mother goddess was already powerfull and ancient . I know later theologians integrated Mary to the church canon but I presume this was only after she was popular with the masses.
The aping of Greek mystical forms such as virgin worship I believe is a ploy to make the religion more palatable to the surrounding culture. The deeper principles of total forgiveness and relinquishing of individual claims to righteousness are the core, in my view; if not globally unique, at least a radical departure from classical cultural values and Islam.
The more people respect and believe you, the more political force you can amass. Hence, a popular religion weilds quite a lot of political force. As such it would be totally misguided to pretend this political context would not exist, or worse, use it in catastrophic ways. There's a good reason churches did not approve of heretics when people were uneducated and easy to arouse into a mass hysteria. There's also a good reason to co-operate with the state so that the political interest of the church and the state are aligned - as opposing large political factions have an almost natural tendency to create turmoil and chaos, like hydrogen and oxygen, even if their leaders werent terribly ambitious (there are always easily exitable factions on both sides).
The fact that bible survives, and is at it is, for example, is the result of a political process as much as anything else. Thus the interpretations as well are mostly done within a political context.
I agree from the philosophical point of view - "meek shall inherit the earth" is pretty much as revolutionary concept as it can get - but from practical point of view this has most of the time meant that you must meakly obey your landlord.
If we understand revolution as a practical political concept - I don't think there has been much revolutionary about christianity en masse, as I wrote in my previous reply.
I think for the most parts the historical inheritance of christianity is net positive, especially when we get to the literary tradition spurred by protestantianism.
"The deeper principles of total forgiveness and relinquishing of individual claims to righteousness are the core, in my view; if not globally unique"
I might be totally off base, but I understood one could claim those principles to be at the core buddhism as well.
Given that the philosophical basis of science had deep roots in both pagan and muslim thought I'm not sure if that's a completely sensible assessment.
I think one needs to take a larger view of the society as a whole, to try to find answers to why science rose, when it did.
Not OP, but I wouldn't be so sure the differences aren't a result of characterizations both originating in the west.. Our dominant philosophical lens (enlightenment rationalism) tends to downplay any religious belief within science as something 'cultural', etc - therefore Kepler, etc, were not 'christian' in anything other than a historical footnote.. since these 'islamic scientists' were outside of the western scientific lineage, they were labelled accordingly - and we can't label 'our own' lineage as 'christian' since it would be to some extent anti-enlightenment to do so (after all it was the church which 'held back' science in the enlightenment view)...
A good introductory to this and the history of western science is Bill Bryson’s ‘a brief history of everything’and the one he edited on the Royal Society.
Some of course were deeply religious, it I think it’s correct to treat their Christianity as incidental. I dont know if it’s the same with the ‘islamic’ scholars. I’d like to think so and I’d like to know more about them.
Anyone recommend any laymen focused books on Islamic scholarship in antiquity?
> Da er zu wenig Geld für den Bau der Burg hatte, bat Radbot seinen Bruder, Bischof Werner von Strassburg, um Unterstützung
> Because of insufficient funds to construct the castle, Radbot begged his brother, Bischop Werner of Strassburg for support.
Whether or not that's a legend, it was not unbelievable, which is the whole point.
That castle was situated at an impasse of a river, where they likely extorted money, I mean "took taxes". The rest is convoluted history. I guess you heard the name.
A cursory visit to Wikipedia reveals a good list of them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age
I think the main impediment to progress in the ancient world was the tendency not to share discoveries but to keep them secret. No patents, but your schoolmates will kill you if you share the discoveries taught to you. Academies were not universities - more like a dude with a few disciples. If your disciples just don't get your invention it will just be forgotten. I'm sure greek went past Euclid in all sort of ways but we just never heard from them.
Outside what is now known Italy, many Roman outposts only had a glimpse of Roman technology and as they got conquered by their enemies, everything got destroyed and the knowledge was lost in that part of Europe.
It is impressive to read books like Herodotus and realizing Greek students that could afford it where doing "internships" in Egypt, where the idea of specialized doctors was already a thing.
You are right on your second point. There was an account of a person coming up with a labour saving device for cleaning streets. However they were not allowed to use it as it was taking needed jobs away from people in the city.
What pushed or stagnated tech development not was slavery. What push us quickly since the modern age, was the free movement of ideas and knowledge (thanks to the printing press and paper making the books affordable) and the scientific method.
edit: or did you mean china contemporary to rome haha? most relevant figures are for the han dynasty. area was 6.5 million km^2 in 100 AD, and population was 57.6 million in 2 AD, making the two empires roughly comparable in size.
The demarcation can be technical or social (How long has it been that we've had a shared global knowledge of history? That's a significant transition.).
While the printing press is probably required for industrialization, it is not sufficient. Your point about slavery holding it back is a good one.
It would be pretty hard to industrialize when the workforce is forcibly kept ignorant.
Massive income and wealth inequality kicked in around a hundred BC or so and poverty prevents a mass production consumer economy so right there you're limited to mass production of industrial goods, meanwhile if you have millions of times the wealth of a peasant there's nothing to spend the money on so you don't care about 0.1% rate of return vs 10% rate of return if there's not enough cool stuff to spend even 0.001% rate of return on. Their financial capital markets, nascent as they were, were essentially non-functional. If you know how to make a nationwide railroad, thats nice, but theres simply no way to finance it. There were no business/financial paths to wealth and anyone who became wealthy or powerful via trade was noteworthy and extremely rare; essentially all the people with money got it by sophistry or military skill, not by being intelligent stewards of their wealth, so expecting intelligent investment is overly optimistic.
(edited in, lack of existing transport infrastructure means no commodities market, so flooding the local tin market just means you sell more tin for the same total revenue...)
So in England at the start of the industrial revolution you had professional-ish mine managers who saw their only way to squeeze out that next percent of revenue was crazy coal powered steam engine water pumps... If a tin mine owning Roman wanted more tin, he'd just take over another province with some legions or legally wheel and deal his way into stealing a mine from a fellow Roman.
Later on Diocletian codified central economic control, communist style, see the link. If you could make a steam locomotive engine, thats nice, but it would be illegal for anyone to work for you, especially the skilled craftsmen you'd need to assemble your locomotive. Have a small economic collapse now, or patch over things to produce a much bigger one later. Guess what option we selected this century for the last couple decades, LOL, the future for us is going to be almost as exciting as the Romans declining years...
Making a handwavy argument their civilization had reached and exceeded the scaling limit of an operational empire even for the most skilled emperors, and of course most emperors were not skilled. The point of that is increasing complexity increases fragility; a ridiculously complex economy based on silicon refined semiconductor computer technology would have collapsed much sooner, not later, and certainly not result in mobile phones in 1000 AD or whatever. If you thought Aurelian had problems with currency reform, imagine if that poor bastard had additional challenges of fractional reserve banking, high frequency trading, derivatives markets, financial alchemy such as mortgage based securities, if he had to put up with all that the poor guy would never have even tried...
Thank god for that!
For descent from Phoenician, we should expect that the futhark developed relatively early, and was transmitted to the Proto-Germanic urheimat (almost certainly Denmark) by sea; for descent from Greek or Etruscan, we should expect that it developed relatively late, and may have been transmitted by land.
Vennemann's argument in favor of descent of the futhark directly from Phoenician is that there are features preserved by the futhark that were lost by the Old Italic alphabets, and that there are features of the futhark that are best explained by an early date of development.
For example, Vennemann considers the ansuz rune to have developed from Phoenician hē; but we'd expect a descendant of hē to represent /e/, not /a/. As it happens, Proto-Germanic ē shifted to ā in the descendant of all Germanic languages but Gothic. In a Greek or Etruscan descent theory, ansuz would likely have developed from some descendant of aleph, since by that time the shift would have already occurred. Unfortunately, hē and aleph are equally plausible as sources for the letterform.
And the runes are named by appellative acrophony, like the letters in Phoenician, but unlike the letters in Greek (where the Phoenician names were borrowed as otherwise meaningless lexical units) or Latin (a, be, ce...). If the runes developed from Etruscan, where would appellative acrophony have come from? Then again, Glagolitic also uses appellative acrophony...
I guess that's saying something about the ability of humans to learn language at any age, or about the misconceptions we have about what is an "easy" or a "hard" language to learn. Still, I can't shake this feeling that if there was one language that it made sense for so many people to learn so they could easily speak simple things to each other, that should have been Latin, not Greek- the English of the ancient world, not its German.
We don't really know what Koine Greek sounded like but it certainly doesn't sound anything close to modern Greek. Having several years of academic Koine Greek and Classical Greek I am almost able to make out quite a bit of modern Greek. I swear modern Greek and Konie are closer then Shakespeare and modern English.
Classical Greek possibly how it sounded - https://www.npr.org/2016/08/25/491389975/the-sound-of-ancien...
In Seminary we talked about the tonality of the language but we lost all that. Chinese for example is tonal.
Well, cyrillic and the earlier glagolitic was created by some byzantine Greeks and based on the Greek alphabet, so that's not that weird...
In that vein it would be interesting to note that while Ancient Greek (from the times of 8-4th century BC as taught in humanities programs) are not spoken today, their simplified version from the times of Alexander the Great and his heirs, "koine" are more or less the same, and perfectly understandable by any modern Greek or Cypriot.
That's the language the Old Testament was translated into (Septuagint), which is 2300 years old -- and still understood (or at least 99% of it, spare some words that have fallen in disuse).
On the other hand, the further back texts go -Plutarch, Xenophon, Herodotus- it gets harder and harder to understand. Homer in particular is nigh-on incomprehensible to me. It's how I imagine Greek sounds to people who don't know any :)
Exactly how Cyril got credit for the script he didn't invent is unclear.
US coinage is bilingual but few Americans speak Latin.
Early Greek thus had not a fixed direction and derivative alphabets such as the Etruscan have settled to one direction of text flow and of letter shapes at random, namely right to left.
Latin has "forked" from the Greek alphabet at another point in time and thus has reversed direction of writing and reverse glyphs with respect to Etruscan and Oscan
After getting used to it it's not that hard to write mirrored text with the opposite hand. It's definitely a lot easier than doing it with the dominant one.
Cyrillic Я is a variant of Old Cyrillic Yys (Ѧ).
Along with educational policies favoring the ruling language and other forms of cultural assimilation, the resettlement strategy has been effectively used in modern times, including the United States, China, and the Soviet Union.