[Sca-cooks] Food and racism and colonialism

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 8 19:41:49 PDT 2012

I agree with you but the Spain who sponsored Columbus and his travels
and conquered the continent except Brazil was the same country which
in the same year evicted the Arabs and the Jews leaving a country
submerged in deep poverty and ignorance. The court of Isabel and
Ferdinand was a conservative and severe court and Spain was for
centuries isolated from the rest of Europe. There were some priests
who tried to enlighten their countrymen showing them the treasures of
the culture they met. Fray Bartolome de las Casas showed mercy and
empathy to Mexicans and wrote very interesting chronicles of the
My point is the Spaniards was at that time not the best
representatives of the European heritage. And I am talking about my
ancestors :)
I have been many times in Mexico and I got my Anthropologist degree on
the Mexican death and how they celebrated the death and the blood.
Their ceremonies and rituals were of exquisite sofistication but the
Spaniards were unable to see in them more than barbarians, just the
opposite :)

On Sat, Sep 8, 2012 at 11:26 PM, Terry Decker <t.d.decker at att.net> wrote:
> 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
> defunct.
> 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.
> Bear
> ----- 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
> possible.
> 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.
> Ana
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