Friday, December 15, 2017

On Mediterranean Bias in Ancient History : Quora

Why is ancient European history (e.g. 200 BC) written and told from a Mediterranean point of view, and not from a Germanic, Norse or Celtic point of view?

Hans-Georg Lundahl,
History buff since childhood. CSL & Eco added to Medieval lore. + Classics.
Answered 2h ago
Check the year 200 BC.

Check the Norse perspective. For proto-Scandinavian, in that year, we don’t even have one runic inscription.

For information about chronology of events, we don’t know totally for sure if it was before or after Odin arrived to the Uppsala region.

Saxo Grammaticus, writing in about 1200 AD in Denmark (1400 years later) considers, basically, Odin must have arrived about then or earlier (since his “grandson” Fjolner died in a vat of hydromel under Frodo I, and Saxo puts a few centuries between him and Frodo II who is contemporary with Caesar Augustus).

Snorre, writing in about 1300 AD in an outpost of Norway, Iceland, but a very conservative one, considers Odin would have arrived about a century LATER, since his “grandson” Fjolner dies in a vat of hydromel under a single Frodo, both identified with “Haddingson” (“Frodo I” in Saxo) and with “Peace Frodo” (“Frodo II” in Saxo) who was contemporary with Caesar Augustus.

Check the Irish perspective[1]. “200 BC - Bronze and iron being used at a crannog at Rathtinaun, Lough Gara, Co. Sligo, sculptures being made in stone and wood, creation of the Turoe stone, Bullaun, Co. Galway.” While the reference given is to a book of Irish history, the fact given is archaeology, and 200 BC is given by carbon dating.

Check Mediterranean perspective.

"Year 200 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Maximus and Cotta (or, less frequently, year 554 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 200 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years."

Maximus and Cotta or ab urbe condita is as such a Mediterranean perspective.

They were consuls for exactly one year, and we know which one.

We know quite a few other events from then too, from the Mediterranean (going on with article):

Seleucid Empire
Antiochus III's forces continue their invasion of Coele Syria and Palestine.

  • Philip V of Macedon's fleet defeat the Rhodians at Lade. His forces then advance into Pergamum, plundering Pergamese territory and attacking cities in Caria.
  • The Acarnanians, with Macedonian support, invade Attica, causing Athens, which has previously maintained its neutrality, to seek help from the enemies of Philip. Attalus I of Pergamum, who is with his fleet at Aegina, receives an embassy from Athens asking him to come to the city for consultations. After he is told that Roman ambassadors are also in Athens, Attalus goes there in haste.
  • The Roman ambassador to Greece, Syria, and Egypt, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus delivers an ultimatum to Philip V warning Macedonia not to make war on any Greek state. Philip decides to reject the Roman ultimatum and the Romans declare war on Macedon, thus starting the Second Macedonian War.
  • The Roman consul, Publius Sulpicius Galba Maximus, asks Attalus I and his fleet to meet up with the Roman fleet off the Greek Aegean coast and they conduct a naval campaign against Philip V, harassing Macedonian possessions in and along the Aegean.

Roman Republic
  • Roman forces defeat the Gauls of Cisalpine Gaul in the Battle of Cremona.
  • The bacchanalia are wild and mystic festivals of the Roman god Bacchus which are introduced into Rome from lower Italy by way of Etruria (approximate date).

[Skipping Bactria, which is Afghanistan, as well as South America and China).

The first good measurement of the distance between Earth and the Sun is made by Eratosthenes (approximate date). By studying lunar eclipses, his result is roughly 150 000 000 km. The currently accepted value is 149 597 870 691 ± 30 metres.

200 BC - Wikipedia


[1] First millennium B.C. in Ireland - Wikipedia

Hans-Georg Lundahl
10m ago
At present the reference to the date is no longer here. But when I answered the question, 200 BC was specified.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
I now edited it back.

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