By Rodney Stark
Finally the Truth in regards to the upward thrust of the West
Modernity constructed purely within the West—in Europe and North the US. Nowhere else did technology and democracy come up; nowhere else was once slavery outlawed. in simple terms Westerners invented chimneys, musical ratings, telescopes, eyeglasses, pianos, electrical lighting, aspirin, and soap.
The query is, Why?
regrettably, that query has turn into so politically flawed that the majority students steer clear of it. yet acclaimed writer Rodney Starkprovides the solutions during this sweeping new examine Western civilization.
How the West gained demonstrates the primacy of uniquely Western ideas—among them the idea in unfastened will, the dedication to the pursuit of information, the inspiration that the universe features in response to rational ideas that may be discovered, and the emphasis on human freedom and safe estate rights.
Taking readers on an exhilarating trip from historic Greece to the current, Stark demanding situations a lot of the acquired knowledge approximately Western history. How the West gained shows, for instance: • Why the autumn of Rome was once the one such a lot beneficial event within the upward push of Western civilization
• Why the “Dark Ages” by no means happened
• Why the Crusades had not anything to do with grabbing loot or attacking the Muslim global unprovoked
• Why there has been no “Scientific Revolution” within the 17th century
• Why scholars’ contemporary efforts to brush off the significance of battles are ridiculous: had the Greeks misplaced on the conflict of Marathon, we most likely may by no means have heard of Plato or Aristotle
Stark additionally debunks absurd fabrications that experience flourished some time past few a long time: that the Greeks stole their tradition from Africa; that the West’s “discoveries” have been copied from the chinese language and Muslims; that Europe turned wealthy by means of plundering the non-Western global. even as, he unearths the woeful inadequacy of contemporary makes an attempt to characteristic the increase of the West to basically fabric causes—favorable climates, considerable usual assets, weapons and steel.
How the West Wondisplays Rodney Stark’s presents for full of life narrative heritage and making the most recent scholarship obtainable to all readers. This daring, insightful booklet will strength you to reconsider your realizing of the West and the start of modernity—and to acknowledge that Western civilization rather has set itself except different cultures.
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Additional resources for How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity
7 The Laws of Humans and Gods 19 procession, bawdy songs or songs of praise for the bride and groom were recited or sung. On the way to, and upon entering, her new home, the bride performed some kind of ritual act, perhaps involving the dedication of coins or the application of unguents to the house’s doorposts, and she pronounced her consent to be married. In the groom’s home, he may have given his own acknowledgment of his intention to marry the bride, perhaps by an offer of fire and water. The couple, now married, celebrated with guests, and then the bride may have been accompanied to her new bedchamber where her groom awaited her.
During or after this 6 With few exceptions, like the wedding of slaves in Plautus’ Casina. For example, the so-called Fescennines. 8 Of course, the lack of luxury may have been deliberate: Nero and Messalina, or perhaps the authors who wrote about them, wanted to show that their weddings were as “standard” as possible (which would further prove their depravity). However, we might wonder if any aspects of the otherworldly wedding of Peleus and Thetis in Catullus’ poem 64 were informed by the poet’s own experience; are the fantastic d´ecor and famous guests meant to be read as humorous and hyperbolic versions of real weddings of the late Republic?
But Juvenal, unlike Tacitus, did not find the wedding of two men to be the worst sin imaginable: in fact Juvenal found Gracchus as a gladiator to be far more offensive than Gracchus as a bride. 78 Dio Cass. 2–3. The Laws of Humans and Gods 37 We have seen in these final examples that same-sex weddings, or the idea of them, may have been disturbing to other Romans precisely because the men celebrating were said to have lasting marriage in mind – that is, the partners seem to share affectio maritalis.