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Isn’t this rather the point?

Medieval classics may be ‘racist and misogynist’, say Oxford scholars

We, of course, are Mr. Peter Perfect in that while we may not have achieved apotheosis in being entirely non-racist and non-misogynist we are at least better than those rude medievals in that we know that we should be. That is the siren call of modern civilization, right?

The whole point therefore being that they were.

14 thoughts on “Isn’t this rather the point?”

  1. They were mostly responding to incentives. It’s always a mistake when people look at the past without asking how people lived.

    Land really, really mattered. No good agricultural land, you starved and died. Protecting it from another tribe coming in and taking it mattered. Being at least suspicious of the other tribe was a useful defence mechanism. Having collective cultural habits mattered.

    You know, it’s the whole thing about black people becoming “Uncle Toms”. Nat King Cole couldn’t change his skin colour, but he could put on a suit. Chinese people who moved to America named their kids things like Michael so people would trust them more.

    And the academics in Oxford, the media people in London don’t grasp the problem that people in Rochdale have. When they meet an African or Asian, it’s someone from the upper classes of these countries who have adopted western cultural norms. These people aren’t taking a dump in the street, or trying to bang 15 year olds.

  2. It’s a pity we gave up the old spelling of medieval because otherwise the wokeistes could cancel it in a fine flurry of outrage and we could laugh at them on the grounds that nobody gave a hoot.

    (I refer to “mediæval”. )

  3. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Who did mediaeval classic writers have to hate on? The non-white population must have been in single digits.

    I assume it’s mostly the French, and aren’t they still fair game?

  4. Oxford scholars.
    Say no more.

    mediæval – Yeah there’s a lot to be said for it. I’ve started occasionally writing using þ & ð in the appropriate places & thee, thy & thou. Just reclaiming my cultural roots. Maybe go the whole middle-english in due course.

  5. The mediaeval English classics were anti-Scottish racists, but “The Merchant of Venice” can be played as a condemnation of then popular anti-Semitism (as well as a feminist icon in Portia, who rescues the “goodie” Antonio)

  6. Why did medieval have to change, while archaeology retained its spelling (though rarely written correctly: archæology).

  7. re: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

    The reference here is to Al-Khidr, Arabic for the “Green One”, who appears in his latest incarnation as Yoda in Star Wars. From Wikipedia, we have this:

    “Some scholars suggest that al-Khiḍr is also represented in the Arthurian tale Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as the Green Knight. In the story, the Green Knight tempts the faith of Sir Gawain three times. The character of al-Khiḍr may have come into European literature through the mixing of cultures during the Crusades.”

    As an aside, the movie Star Wars is a story about spiritual alchemy told from the perspective of Sufism, which is the mystical branch of Islam, i.e., the Islamic path to enlightenment. In the movie Star Wars, Luke Skywalker represents the lead, i.e., the spiritual neophyte, Obi-Wan Kenobi represents the gold, i.e., the spiritual adept, and Yoda represents the Philosopher’s Stone, aka, the Red Sulphur, which effects the alchemical transmutation of turning lead into gold.

    Claude Addas wrote a book in this respect titled: “Quest for the Red Sulphur: The Life of Ibn ‘Arabi”

  8. “That is the siren call of modern civilization”

    It’s all a bit reminiscent of the Whig Interpretation of History, except that it’s now the Prig Interpretation of History.

  9. @BiC
    Yes, typewriters (UK and US ones, anyway) didn’t have the ligatured letters, so spellings gradually changed to drop them. But today it’s trivial to insert an æ or œ, Word will even generate them: ctrl-&a or ctrl-&o. So encyclopædia and manœuvre FTW!

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