History of the world

Reader James of "I Don't Know, But . . ." led me to Dr. Boli's Celebrated Magazine, in which the eponymous scholar publishes incisive summaries of history that are slightly less drunken and irresponsible than "1066 and All That."  Dr. Boli is not a fan of Justinian.  One installment details this fascinating and contradictory Byzantine ruler's reign in the 6th century A.D., while the next turns to the abrupt rise of Islam:
Why did Islam spread so fast? Well, it is always very bad historical practice to assign a single cause to a complex historical event that must of necessity have had many causes. But, in a word, Justinian.
In chapter 15, Charlemagne turns the lights back on.  An eager public awaits the publication of chapter 16, "More Fun with Barbarians," addressing the Vikings, as prefigured by our own Lars Walker in a forward-thinking comment.

Another excellent post from Dr. Boli concerns unusual musical instruments.


Grim said...

We may take it as a general rule: anyone who believes that God demands the destruction of art will end by murdering people as well. There is but one step from the image of the image of God to the image of God.

Now that is astute.

Grim said...

Speaking of history, I've been rereading Herodotus. It's interesting to compare his notes on what various cultures were like with what those cultures are like today (in those cases where some descendant of the culture survives). I'm particularly interested in the religious customs, which predate Christianity and Islam.