[Sca-cooks] Food and racism and colonialism

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Sat Sep 8 19:26:36 PDT 2012

I have some problems with this.  The Western Roman Empire collapsed, but 
Roman civilization continued in the Eastern Empire which continued on until 
the 15th Century.  As for Rome being wiped out,  Old Saint Peter's Basilica 
was built between 319 and 333 CE.  Pope Leo IV expanded the city walls of 
Rome to encompass the Basilica between 848 and 852 CE.  That suggest to me 
that Rome was alive, if not well, even though the Western Empire was 

There are some very interesting watermills that were built in the 6th to the 
8th Centuries in Ireland that suggest technicals skills were not as vanished 
as some scholars propose.  There is also the fact that Charlemange was a 
proponent of expanding education.  This says to me that literacy, by which I 
mean symbolic or abstract communication, may have been severely curtailed, 
and with it the transfer of knowledge by reading and writing, but that 
useful knowledge was determined and transferred by more direct means.

When it comes to conquest, I think that literacy or illiteracy are 
immaterial.  A lack of empathy, righteous superiority, a violent nature and 
better weaponry are more to the point.  The Conquistadors filled the bill, 
as did the Celts, Olmecs, Carthaginians, Romans, Goths, Visigoths, Jutes, 
Angles, Saxons, Norse, Normans, Mongols, Chinese, English, Dutch, germans, 
French, Japanese and Americans in their own time and place.


----- Original Message ----- 

I don't understand your point of view. After the Roman were wiped out
from earth by Barbaric people or tribes the most knowledge they had
were gone and buried for many centuries. All the acqueducts and paved
roads built by Rome in Spain, England and many other places, the monks
kept on the convents some manuscripts but the skills were forgotten.
It took many years for the European to rediscover the old technics and
it was most the Arabs who contributed to it and made the Renaissance
When Spain and Portugal claimed the New World for themselves it was
two countries with a high level of illiteracy and submerged in a
Middle Age where the knights didn't work with their hands and saw as
dishonoring take care of themselves. When they come to South America
they were not able to appreciate the culture of the people they met.
They despised their religions and beliefs, their way of life, their
buildings, their art.
There is an interesting book written by the Bulgarian linguist Tveztan
Todorov, "The Conquest of America, the Question of the Other". He says
the European were not able to "see" the others, since their mirror
didn't show anything they could recognize. Very similar to what
happened the Christian Crusades when they come as conquerors to the
Middle East.

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