by Emmet Scott (January 2014)
At the dawn of the tenth century most of Europe was a rural backwater. All of the lands east of the Elbe (and almost all east of the Rhine) were barbarian-infested wastelands without a trace of literate civilization. Those to the west, in Gaul and Britain, and even in Italy, were not much better. In this region there prevailed an almost universal illiteracy and a subsistence barter economy of the most primitive kind. There existed only a handful of towns with more than 30,000 people, and even these were nothing like the towns of the Roman period. England had none, with the possible exception of London. more>>>
I would very much like to make contact with the author for a possible interview in Regina magazine, of which I am the Editor. (www.reginamag.com)
'Although I am very sympathetic to the direction of your thinking, I am afraid that more study is needed that should be integrated into your thinking to give a more balanced approach. There is no doubt that Latin learning was preserved in the West, but this learning was in general not of a scientific nature. The good science of the ancient world was written in Greek. With the decline of this knowledge of Greek in the West, whole areas were left blank. The truth about the Christian role is that in the areas conquered by the Muslims in the Middle East, Christian writers who knew both Arabic and Greek were able to act as intermediaries and provide a solid foundation for later Arabic writings. Thus, there is a Christian role, but it is in the old Byzantine area. A Christian Arabic writer, Phillip Hitte (I believe) has documented this well. Of course, there was also philosophical knowledge, influenced by Neo-Platonic interpretations, that also brought Aristotle to the attention of the West through Arabic philsophers who were then translated directly into Latin, which is why Aristotle appears so late on the scene (after the Crusades had already begun). Those are the thoughts I would suggest for further research in this area, highlighting the role of Eastern Christianity in all of this.