Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘City-State

Tidbits and notes. Part 435

The ancient city-state of Athens could Not swallow the concept of free expressions in public. Athens political structure was mainly controlled by the oligarchy and the rich conservatives. And the famous “philosophers” like Socrates, Anaxagoras and Protagoras charged extravagant stipends from all these adventurer aristocrats, seeking political status through fomenting successive wars to keep the empire cowed and the subjugated city-sates paying their due taxes. All these “philosophers” ended up exiled or punished with death for their ideas.

“Moi, je denonce les idees des autres ignorants. Le chien a une ame: il peut distinguer les humains amicaux et ceux hostillent a son existence” Diogene

Every period has its main litmus test of patriotism and progressive positions, especially for public figures of intellectuals and politicians. “What is your stand on the Palestinian cause” was the main litmus test for decades. It has come back after Trump pronouncement on Jerusalem

If Hezbollah support to reconvene Saad Hariri as PM, then my suspicion will increase that Hezbollah is in acute economic and financial difficulties: this party would be ready to enjoy the Haririyat’s Ponzi scheme for a while longer. To gain time? But Lebanon is set for a long and harsh period. The sooner we get out of our fantasies the better society will come to term with the reality of our defective policies.

I learned that the tent in 3azariyyi was discussing the feasibility of finding a peace treaty with Israel “tatbee3 ma3 Israel“. Is that a timely purpose of the mass upheaval (7iraak)? Stick to the fundamental emergencies and don’t meddle in foreign policies right now.

A week before the mass upheaval (al 7iraak) started in October 17, Jobran Basil (Lebanon foreign minister and leader of Tayyar )declared that turning the table on our defunct political and economic system could become an inevitable outcome. Question: If the President was the first in delivering his speech before Saad PM, the next day of the 7iraak, and told us the economic plan is to be changed to a productive system and opening the trade borders with Syria and Iraq, how this 7iraak would have unfolded?

A US federal judge blocked a Los Angeles law requiring businesses seeking city contracts to disclose any ties to the NRA.

The donations to the Vatican: Uses about 90% of the funds on its administrative budget.

EU is the first economic power in the world and the UK wants out?

Most hotel chains don’t own their  properties, but rather provides capital and training to hotel owners who re-brand to its specs. It then takes a portion of their revenue. Agarwal’s company in India is valued at $10 billion, surpassing Marriott by room count.

In a world where media is global, social, ubiquitous and cheap, in a world of media where the former audience are now increasingly full participants, in that world, media is less and less often about crafting a single message to be consumed by individuals. It is more and more often a way of creating an environment for convening and supporting groups.

1993: Internet pioneer Rick Gates suggests that a free, open-source encyclopedia could exist on the internet (he called it “Interpedia”).

What are these ridiculous claims that we are an “Arabic” nation or an Islamic nation?

There are sections in Lebanon (mostly Christian Maronite) advancing the French mandatory alternative of a “Phoenician” ancestors.  Currently, there are Lebanese testing their blood for DNA evidences of any physical “Phoenician inheritance“. It appears, mostly the Lebanese living in south Lebanon have traces of Phoenician ancestry.

A few are wary that they won’t be found to have any Phoenician stain, strain and be caste off as “strangers”.  What a load of crap.

The Phoenicians ruled the Mediterranean Sea in 1,200 BC and the string of their City-States (Byblos, Beirut, Saida, Tyre, Arwaad…) extended from southern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, up to Haifa in Palestine.

The Phoenicians were famous for maritime trade and commerce and established many trading centers around the Sea, North Africa, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Sicily, Greece and most islands.

The written language has been around for 3,000 years, but the Phoenicians in the City-State of Byblos are credited for inventing the alphabet (currently in use with slight modifications.)

Before the Phoenicians and afterward, the Near East region of the Mediterranean (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine) has been invaded by a dozen warrior empires, and many invaded us repeatedly.

For example, the empires in Iraq (Akkad, Babylon, Assyria), Egypt, Persia under various dynasties (at least four of them), Greece, Roman, Byzantium, Arabic, Ottoman, and finally the colonial powers of France and Britain.

All these warrior empires didn’t build anything worth showing as representative of civilization, until they invaded our region and rounded off and hoarded the educated and master craftsmen to their capitals.

We are a region of multiple identities if we have to rely on occupation empires.

How about we identify with education and craftsmanship?  I love this identity.

Let us focus on affordable efficient schooling system; let us encourage technical and craftsmanship schooling system; let us focus on building commercial ships; let us invest in railways and fast communication facilities; let us open up to knowledge facilities all over the world.

I love this identity; let us get to work and planning.

Another sections of Lebanese, mostly Muslim-Sunnis, would like to have an Arabic identity and pushing it too far to claiming that we are from the Arabic Peninsula. Are we Arabs?  What that means?

The Islamic “Arabic” army, led by Arabic nomadic Peninsula “generals”, which came to fight the Byzantium Empire and later the Persian Empire barely numbered 7,000 men of war.  The other three-forth of the army that backed and supplemented the “Arabic army” was constituted from people and tribes living in Syria, Iraq, and Jordan wanting to defeat the Byzantium unforgiving Orthodox Church and domination.

How can we be descendant of the sparsely populated Arabic Peninsula?

The “Arabic identity” group would claim that our culture and civilization is Islamic Arabic. How that?

The cultural development during the Arabic Empire was shouldered by the scholars in Syria, Iraq, and Iran and they were mostly Christians. They would like to rely on the Arabic language as basis for our identity.  Excellent idea.

Let us prove that the Arabic language is a viable foundation; let us infuse a new spirit in that dying language; let us translate the worthy manuscripts; let us invent new terms that have no religious connotation and spread the Arabic language as a universal language, valid to sustaining modern civilization with fresh brains and advanced sciences and technologies.  I will be for it and will support it vehemently.

There are other factions wanting to claim that we are Muslims.  How about the dozen minority religious sects?  Are we to agree on a theocratic identity?

Turkish Ataturk cancelled the caliphate in 1925 and there is no caliphate anymore, anywhere.  Tiny Lebanon has 19 recognized self-autonomous religious communities running our civil life.  Let us get real.

A theocratic State will never pass and will never find unity for identity.

Should we hide behind a reality of disparate communities to establish the concept of plurality community government?  Should 19 wrong identities constitute a valid identity?

What we need is to be unified under the banners of civil rights, human rights, sustainable environment, equitable and fair election laws and regulations, civil marriage, linked to fast communication technologies, access to social platforms, freedom of expression, laws not discriminating among genders, versatile opportunities to jobs and expertise, affordable education system, national health system…

What we need is to unify against any State invading our borders, bombing our infrastructure, humiliating us, destabilizing our society and economy.  

What we need is to unify against any political current that has proven to working against democratic representations, racial demagoguery, sectarian political ideology.

Empires that ruled the Near-East: And a quick 90-second video-map attached

You may view first this 90-second Maps-of-War video of the various empires that ruled over the Near-East (Levant) region in the last 5,000 years on this multimedia site  of the Imperial History of the Middle East  http://www.mapsofwar.com/ind/imperial-history.html
 
Traditional History accounts are totally biased toward the stories of the Empires.  In the history of the Near-East (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and the sea stretch of Turkey), you find archeologists stating that this temple, that arena, that edifice, that work of art is related to the civilization of the Empire that ruled the region at certain period.
 
Fact is, it is the inhabitants of the Near-East who were the architets, artisans, work-force, and even the ones who paid the tribute (money) in order for these work of arts to be erected. For example, archeological sites of existing theater, hypodromes, temples, castles, fortes, aqueducts…existed for centuries before Rome started building such edifices after it conquered Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.  The same goes to all other Empires such as Persian, Greek…
 
You may read more details in link attached in note 2.
 
I am re-editing a post published on March 2008 under “Who are we, the inhabitants of the Mediterranean Sea shores?”

I have this theory, backed by historical accounts and substantiated by archeological and ontological finding, that the Near East (Levant) region has been the crossroad for the innumerable waves of immigrations from East to West and to a lesser extent from Eastern Africa via Egypt to the west.  This is a valid hypothesis that could be adopted as an alternative direction and guide to studying our people.

I take the first premise that most locations had their own indigenous people for various reasons going far back to thousands of years; this premise is only just, logical and convenient.  I also offer the second premise that emigrants prefer moving toward areas with abundance of water and greener pastures. The successive waves of immigration have started in full bloom before the seventh millennia of our calendar.

People from Central Asia tended to march towards Northern Iran and then onward to the Anatolian plateau (Turkey), rich in rivers and water reserves from the melting of snow-covered majestic Taurus mountain chains.

The populations in Iran were inclined to settle the shores of the great Tigris River (Dujlah) in Iraq. From there, they forked either south along the mighty river or northward.  Moving south was initially the preferred route because the climate is warmer and because it is almost impossible to navigate upward the Tigris River in its northern section.  They settled and built the ancient and mighty Empires around Ur and Basra on the mouth of the Tigris River which empties in the Arab/Persia Gulf and then they expanded along the Arabian Gulf shores.

The Empires of the Antiquity (Sumer, Akkad, and Babylon) constituted the trading centers from the Arabian Gulf to the coasts of the Western Indian Ocean.  The Prophet Abraham is said to have moved out with his tribe from the great city of Ur, and most probably progressed south-west along the Red Sea coast. (Actually, the Israelite tribes are initially from Yemen, where most of their idols such as Hud still exist)

Later, the mighty Empire of Babylon based its Capital further north of Ur on the Tigris River.

Aramaic was the main mother language with various dialects for each region: Iraq was the hotbed of civilization for over 4 millennia before Christ, starting by the kingdoms of Sumer, Akkad, Babylon, and Ashur. All the regions from Iran, Kurdistan, the Arabic Peninsula, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and the western part of Turkey were under the hegemony of either one of these empires.

The main religion and Gods, the main language, and the tradition for trading and doing business and administrations were homogeneous.

Moving north the Tigris River the hardy immigrants settled and built mighty Empires like Assyria in Nineveh (Ninawa) around Mosul and in the current Kurdish homeland. Those immigrants who moved north the river overflowed to the Anatolian Plateaus in Turkey and settled along the mighty Euphrates River (Al Furat) and built the Hittite Empire that discovered iron and invaded Egypt, where they were called the Hyksos, and settled there for a long time until they signed a peace treaty with Ramses II.

It is recounted that prosperous Troy was vanquished by the Greeks, after ten years of siege, because the Hittite Empire was endeavoring at that junction to reach the sea and thus, aided the Greek invaders to destroy their natural enemy.  The more recent power coming from the Anatolian plateau that conquered the Middle East is the Ottoman Empire.

The waves of immigration descended along the Euphrates River and jointed the Orontes River (Al Assy, going counter to topography) and built many City-States along these rivers and many reached the Mediterranean Sea.

It is known that the Orontes and Euphrates shores were studded with numerous large and prosperous City-States like Homs, Hama, Tel Amarna, Van, and Mary because it was the preferred land trade route towards Iraq, Persia and ultimately China.

The alternative more direct route was through the Syrian Desert passing by Palmyra (Tadmor) but it was way too harsh and inconvenient.  Actually, almost all invasions coming from further East and North used the coastal and Euphrates River corridors to loot and conquer Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and ultimately Egypt. All these immigrants might have initially fled from persecutions and tribal warfare and also because of changing weather conditions and draughts.

The waves coming from Eastern Africa settled first in Egypt and fled for many reasons to the southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea toward the Maghreb regions and also to the eastern shores and settled in the sea cities of Canaan that includes Palestine, and Lebanon.

A large number had to emigrate very often from the cities of Canaan after repeated invasions of the Moguls, Persian, Iraqi, and Egyptian Empires:  These Empires made it a routine to invade and loot the rich Canaan City-States for their accumulated treasures and for their skilled workers.

All these immigrants ended up in Syria and the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea of Canaan and some settled in Egypt. The ancient city of Byblos in Lebanon extended its civilization and built the cities of Sidon and Beyrouth and other sea towns and invented a new alphabet of 22 letters.  Sidon built Tyr and Akka.

As the Empires in Iraq, Persia, and Egypt invaded these cities the settled inhabitants of these prosperous seashore cities had to immigrate again to the southern and western shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Note 1:  I read recently that a newly excavated City-State by the current city of Rukka (Northern Syria) is as old as 5,500 BC; many millenia before the City-States in southern Iraq.  The society was very structured and copper was imported from Southern Turkey.  A vast temple was excavated in southern Turkey that is 11,000 years BC.

Note 2: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2009/01/09/the-inhabitants-of-the-mediterranean-sea-shores-part-2/

The barbaric Catholic Church; (October 13, 2009)

 

            There is a resurgence of Islamophobia in France couched under the pretext of discovering the origins of European civilization as a combination of Greek and Christian cultures. It would be worthwhile to set the historical facts straight for any meaningful reply.

            Since 325 AC to around 700 AC there was a Christian Empire dominated by Byzantium with Capital in Constantinople. This empire was to the east of the Euphrates River, crossing Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, all the way to England and including North Africa. It was basically a Mediterranean Sea Empire.  To the west of the Euphrates River there was a Persian Empire, mostly under the Sassanide Dynasty.  The Arabic Empire did not conquer the western part of Turkey which remained with the Byzantium Empire until 1450 when the Ottoman Sultan Muhammad 2 entered Constantinople and spread all the way to the borders of Vienna in Austria.

            In around 1000 a major schism in Christianity split the Catholic Church of Rome with the Christian Orthodox Church of Constantinople. Actually, the initial Crusade campaigns had for objective to conquer Constantinople and coerce the Orthodox Church into uniting with Rome. That is what took place and Constantinople was ransacked and burned before the Crusading forces marched on toward Jerusalem. The other successive Crusading incursions had for objective to capture Egypt and free the spice routes directly to Europe without paying taxes to the Moslem Kingdoms along the maritime and land caravan routes.

            Thus, from 325 to 1450 Europe was Christian.  Why Greek civilization, if Europe insists on taking the source of its culture from antique Greece, was not prevalent during over 11 centuries?  Why Europe remained barbaric till the 15th century?  Is it because the Christian dogma of Rome was barbaric and refused other civilizations and cultures to infiltrate Europe?  Certainly the Christian clerics were at least bilingual, mostly Latin and Greek, and consequently, if Greece had any culture it would have been translated into Latin. Some would give the lame excuse that the scholars in Europe, mostly the clerics, could read the Greek manuscripts in their original forms and had no need to translate any manuscripts into Latin or other live languages; this would be another proof that the Catholic Church of Rome was barbaric and refused philosophical and scientific disciplines to penetrate into Europe.

            Europe experienced a demographic surge around 1000 AC; it is after getting in contact with the Near East culture and civilization (under Arabic/Islamic kingdoms) during the Crusading campaigns that culture entered Europe from the open door.  Even after the total defeat of the Crusaders in 1200 the Near East culture permeation would continue via Andalusia in southern Spain. The Arabic/Moslem civilization in Spain was the main source for the transfer of sciences into Europe until the “Christian” Spanish monarchs conquered completely Spain in around 1400 and chased out Moslems and Jews from its territory.

            Greece after Aristotle did not produced much in culture.  It was just a brilliant century for the City-State of Athens during Pericles period, as so many glorious periods for a dozen other City-States that dotted the Mediterranean shores and the Euphrates River, from Mary, Harran, Edessee, Ugharite, Tripoli, Byblos, Beirut, Sidon, Tyr, and much later Alexandria, Antiochus, and Ephesus, and on that scholars and archeologists have to start focusing on for the origins of civilizations.  The proof is that the Byzantium Empire that was established in Greece for over 11 centuries is no where mentioned as source for any worthwhile civilization.

            Macedonian warriors under Alexander conquered the Near East; it is not because the Near East people, from Alexandria, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and coastal Turkey, who assimilated the Greek language and spread their own culture and civilization in the Greek language that Europe has to claim its civilization to Greece. Europe should not. It is the Near East culture and civilization that assimilated the languages of the various conquerors (Mesopotamians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs from the Arabic Peninsula, Ottomans from the Turkish Plateau, French colonialism, and English colonialism) that absorbed and disseminated the fundamental cultures and civilizations to its neighboring environment.  

            It is not because of the invasion of nomadic warriors from the Arabic Peninsula that Arabic civilization should be labeled Arab.  Why the Mogul Empires that lasted longer than many Empires and stretched much further than many are not given any civilization?  It is a shame that Europe still feels the urge to attribute civilization to military conquering warriors.

 

Note: The title was meant to be catchy to drive through the purpose of the topic. I have no zeal to dwell into religions of any kinds. I would like readers to refer to my recent post “Damascus saved the Greek culture”.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

June 2020
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